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Report from Pebble: Tiger holds steady

 

           The greens are not fast, and neiher is Tiger Woods' group. It was weird, seeing balls stop way short of the hole, especially downhill putts on No. 16. But there was plenty of time to look. It took Woods, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood nearly three hours to play the first nine (actually the back nine at Pebble Beach). And they weren't waiting. It's just going slow out there generally, and those guys are a tad slower than most.

           Woods will have no gripes with the condition of the greens today, at least he shouldn't. He had only two good chances for birdie on the first nine and made one, a five-footer for 4 on No. 14. He missed one about the same length on the par 5 18th. He also chipped in for birdie on the par-4 11th. He also had two bogeys to play a par round and stay at 3 over.

           The point is, that's the way Woods has been playing. That's the way he played at Augusta. He birdies the par 5s, but not much else.

          Still, that's pretty good at a U.S. Open. Going around the course in par is not bad. He's just going to need to get rid of that plus-3 someplace between now and Sunday afternoon.

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