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Jun 17, 2012, 10.02 AM IST
WOODS-BOGEYS-FIRST-HOLE-IN-US-OPEN:Woods bogeys first hole in U.S. Open third round
By Julian Linden
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tiger Woods made a shaky start to the third round of the U.S. Open on Saturday, bogeying the tricky opening hole at the Olympic Club.
The former world number one, bidding to end a four-year title drought in major championships, started the day tied for the lead at one under par with fellow Americans Jim Furyk and David Toms.
But the pacesetting trio all bogeyed the 509-yard first hole to drop back to even.
That left them one stroke clear of a group of four players - Americans Michael Thompson and John Peterson, 2010 champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts.
McDowell, Peterson and Colsaerts all safely parred the first two holes while Thompson, who led after the first round, made a birdie at the first to join the leaders but handed the shot back when he bogeyed the par-three third.
Conditions on the notoriously difficult course were slightly easier in the morning, allowing a handful of early starters to break par, but were expected to get harder in the afternoon once the winds picked up and the greens began to quicken.
American Casey Wittenberg, who teed off five hours before Woods, made an eagle at the seventh hole, then birdied the last two to sign for a three-under 67 to move to five over.
"By the time Tiger and those guys tee off, I think it's going to be a brick," Wittenberg told reporters of the firm and fast-running layout at the Olympic Club.
"There are a lot of front pin placements out there and it's hard to get to those front pin placements when it gets a little crusty in the afternoon.
"I'm sure with the sun being out and everybody walking on those greens it's going to be a challenge." (Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)
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