Woods’ return rusty but back is fine

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Tiger Woods was back on the PGA Tour for the first time in more than three months Thursday and said he felt “fantastic.”


He was talking about his back, not his game.


One day into his most recent return from injury, that’s what mattered to him.


Woods opened with two straight bogeys, made five more bogeys in a seven-hole stretch around the turn at tough Congressional and finally found his groove late in the opening round of the Quicken Loans National for a 3-over 74.


Woods was tied for 83rd only 19 players had a higher score and he will have to score better Friday if he wants to avoid missing the cut for the first time in two years.


“I made so many little mistakes,” Woods said. “So, I played a lot better than the score indicated.”


Congressional had a lot to do with that.


Two weeks after a U.S. Open that had no rough, Congressional made it feel like one. Any shot just off the fairway was buried, making it difficult for even the powerful players to reach the green on some of the longer par 4s.


Greg Chalmers finished with three straight birdies for a 66 and a one-shot lead over Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson. Defending champion Bill Haas, Patrick Reed, U.S. Open runner-up Erik Compton and Tyrone Van Aswegen shot 68. Compton birdied his last four holes.


“I didn’t think it was easy at all,” Chalmers said. “I played really well, and I think anybody who plays really well can shoot a low score. You just have to be coming out of the fairway, and I didn’t that the majority of the time today.”


Two tied for International Open lead: England’s Danny Willett and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot 8-under 64 to share the lead in the BMW International Open, while local favorite Martin Kaymer opened with a 71 at Gut Laerchenhof in his first round since winning the U.S. Open.


Wie ready for action: Michelle Wie has enjoyed a week full of celebration and national attention since finally winning her first major championship in the U.S. Women’s Open.


The most recognizable name in women’s golf danced with her trophy and appeared on the morning television circuit, taking in the rewards after beating top-ranked Stacy Lewis by a stroke Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.


Wie will open play today in the NW Arkansas Championship. And she’ll do it in former Arkansas star Lewis’ backyard at Pinnacle Country Club.


Nine of the top 10 players in the world are entered in the $2 million event.


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