Great stretch gives Tiger Woods good start

HOYLAKE, England (AP) - Tiger Woods returned to the majors for the first time in 11 months on Thursday and acted as though he had not been gone.

With a strong finish, Woods opened with a 3-under 69. He was neither pleasantly surprised nor overly disappointed on a calm morning at Royal Liverpool. It was just another round in the majors - his 251st as a professional - and it quickly put him in the mix at the British Open.

Woods opened with two straight bogeys, and then didn't make another one for 11 holes. He made five birdies in a six-hole stretch late in his round. He was three shots behind Rory McIlroy with the first round still in progress.

Woods missed the first two majors recovering from back surgery.


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