Woods is off to slow start in Buick Open

Associated Press
Buick Open leader Steve Lowery shot 29 on the front nine and finished with 9-under-par 63. He leads John Senden by a shot at Warwick Hills. Vaughn Taylor is two back and tied for third.

GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Mich. --- Tiger Woods played a lot like the guy who didn't make the cut at the British Open.


Woods shot 1-under-par 71 on Thursday at the Buick Open, his first tournament since disappointing at Turnberry. He's tied for 95th place, eight shots back of leader Steve Lowery.

Wood finished the first round with 32 putts, and tied for 128th on putts inside 10 feet.

"Probably one of the worst putting days I've ever had," he said. "It was just terrible."

Two weeks ago in the British Open, Woods was 7-over during a six-hole stretch and ended up missing a cut for the first time in three years.

If Woods fails to break 70 in the second round today, he will put himself in danger of missing cuts in consecutive tournaments for the first time as a pro.

The average winning score has been almost 21 under par since 2000 at Warwick Hills, one of the easiest courses on the PGA Tour.

Lowery took advantage of perfect conditions in the morning by tying a course record with 29 on the front nine and finishing at 9-under 63. John Senden made nine birdies and is second at 64.

Vaughn Taylor, of Evans, had 65, as did Y.E. Yang, James Nitties and Brian Vranesh. Former Louisville, Ga., resident Brian Gay shot the same score as Woods -- 71.

NATIONWIDE TOUR: In Columbus, Ohio, Scott Parel broke out of his slump in a big way in the first round of the Children's Hospital Invitational.

The Augustan, who has missed five consecutive cuts on the tour, shot 4-under-par 67 and is one shot off the lead.

Parel, who has made only one cut in seven starts this year, struck for six birdies against two bogeys at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course. He's in a five-way tie for second place, behind former Georgia golfer Justin Bolli.

Former Georgia and South Aiken standout Kevin Kisner is another shot back after his 68.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Celanda, Czech Republic, Tano Goya shot 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Moravia Silesia Open.

John Bickerton and Steve Webster each shot 66 to tie for second. Former Augusta State golfer Gary Murphy shot 79.


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