Originally created 11/23/05

Ailing Woods leads Slam



POIPU BEACH, Hawaii - Even feeling ill, Tiger Woods proved to have an edge over the competition.

Woods overcame a stomach virus and labored to 5-under-par 67 on Tuesday to take a three-stroke lead over defending champion Phil Mickelson after the opening round of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.

Woods, seeking a record sixth Grand Slam title, was visibly affected by a virus that forced him to go on antibiotics and miss Monday's pro-am. But, he managed to get through the round in muggy conditions with temperatures in the 80s at the oceanside Poipu Bay Golf Course.

His opponents weren't giving him a break.

"There's an old saying, 'Beware of the ailing golfer,' " Mickelson said. "And whenever he's complaining, we know we're in trouble."

Michael Campbell shot 73, and Vijay Singh had 75 in the 36-hole event for the winners of this year's majors.

Woods had an up-and-down start, but got stronger as the round went on. He had a bogey-free back nine that included four birdies and punctuated his round with an 8-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

"By the sixth or seventh hole, my nausea went away and I just had some cramps, and that's something you just deal with," Woods said. "So, I just started letting it go and I started hitting the ball a lot better."

Sweating profusely before hitting his first ball at the practice range, Woods took a swig of some stomach medicine about 15 minutes before teeing off and looked uncomfortable during the round. However, the ankle he twisted last weekend while defending his title at Phoenix Dunlop in Japan didn't seem to bother him.

Woods' drive on the opening hole found a fairway bunker, and his second shot caught the lip of the trap and traveled only 6 feet.

"Great start today," said Woods, who bogeyed the hole and then got sick.

"Once I threw up in the bushes behind the first green, I felt a lot better," Woods said.

He was rushed to a restroom in a golf cart after teeing off on the uphill, 524-yard No. 2, which was birdied by all four players.