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Woods Stumbled By Downpour

Posted June. 15, 2001 20:32,   


Will the sudden heavy rain be a hurdle to the defending champion Tiger Woods`s winning of a second straight title in the U.S. Open and a fifth straight major title?

The first round of the 101st U.S. Open (total prize of $5 million) at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was called for the day with only 66 scores in the clubhouse due to the stormy weather with thunder and lightening. 90 players out of 156 participants could not finish the first round.

The most solid title candidate, Tiger Woods who started in the afternoon, had stumbled to a 3-over-par up to the ninth hole.

Meanwhile, a veteran Hale Irwin (56, US), who teed off in the morning, put his name on the first row of the leader board with the best record (3-under-par 67) among the first round finishers. Irwin had recorded the oldest man ever to win the U.S. Open in 1990 (then 45 years old).

Unfortunately, Woods made a bogey with three putts in the third hole (par 4), and recorded a double bogey in the ninth (par 4). During the rain, his second shot went to the bunker after hitting a tree, and the third shot fell to the notorious Bermuda rough over the green.

`Tank` Choi Kyung-Joo (Superiori), in next group of Woods, shot 5-over-par up to the ninth, and was anxious about the first round cut-off.

Meanwhile, only three players recorded the sub-par score among the first round finishers; Hale Irwin (3-uder-par 67), Loren Roberts and Stewart Cink (1-under-par 69).

Phil Mickelson (US), a rival of Woods, and Sergio Garcia (Spain) finished the first round with even-par 70.

Ahn Young-Sik ysahn@donga.com