• US PGA Championship

Woods happy with solid start

ESPN staff
August 9, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods got off to a good start at Kiawah Island © PA Photos
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Tiger Woods was satisfied with a job well done after firing a three-under par start to his US PGA Championship campaign at Kiawah Island.

Woods, looking to win his first major championship in over four years, had six birdies and three bogeys on Thursday as he sat just three shots off Carl Pettersson's early clubhouse lead.

The 14-time major champion believes he has made a steady start to his bid for victory.

"I played well today and anything in the 60s is going to be a good start in a major championship, and I'm right there," Woods said. "I'm going to do a little bit of work on the range, clean a few things up. I know what to do and just need to do it."

The American has been struggling with his putting in recent weeks, but claimed to be feeling better on the greens after some extensive work on his technique.

"I putted well on the weekend [at last week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational], made a few adjustments Friday night last week, and felt like I hit a lot of good putts," he said. "Started the ball on my start lines again and I think I made six putts over 20 feet out there or something like that on the weekend, which is good.

"Came here with the same thoughts, same feels, and I made a few today."

Pettersson, meanwhile, noted that the weather conditions made scoring at the Ocean Course a lot easy than might usually be expected. While it was hot and humid on Thursday, there was little wind to affect the players.

"Obviously I played well today," Pettersson said. "You know, it's a little bit softer so that makes the fairways wider, and the wind really hasn't blown, and the greens are still a little bit soft.

"Under the right conditions, if it got really firm and fast and you had the wind, it would be very difficult. I think we've seen it about as easy as it can get today this morning.

"It still is a very good and very tough golf course, but I think we had it under some of the easiest conditions you could probably get."

Pettersson is hopeful he can continue his good start to advance his Ryder Cup ambitions. Swedish-born but a long-time PGA Tour player who has recently acquired US citizenship, due to a variety of quirky rules the five-time PGA Tour winner will need a wildcard pick from European captain Jose Maria Olazabal if he is to tee it up at Medinah next month.

"I was born in Sweden, so I'd have to play for the European team," he said. "But I'm not a member of the European Tour, so my points don't count on the points list, so I'd have to be a pick. You never know. Hopefully I can play well.

"I've played solid this year, and if I can play well, then the next month or so, who knows, we'll see what happens."

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