Tiger Woods shoots first-round 72, trails leader by eight

Tiger Woods was holding on to par on Thursday at Torrey Pines. (USATSI)
Tiger Woods was holding on to par on Thursday at Torrey Pines. (USATSI)

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Tiger Woods was unexceptional on Thursday which is odd for him at Torrey Pines because it's a place where he is almost always very exceptional.

He shot an even-par 72 on a windless Thursday that got off to a promising start.

Woods birdied No. 2 but could only muster one other birdie to go with two bogeys the rest of the way. 

Still, Woods wasn't too displeased.

"Even par's not too bad, I didn't play the par fives worth a darn today," Woods told Golf Channel after his round.

"I'm going to have to go get it tomorrow to not be so far back on Saturday," said Woods.

The bad news, if you're a Woods fan, is that he's eight back of leader Stewart Cink.

The good news is that Woods played the much tougher south course on Thursday, a course on Thursday Woods said was playing like the US Open in 2008. 

"The golf course is closer to an Open than it is how we normally play it. I haven't seen the greens this firm since the Open," said Woods.

Even though Woods was T63 when he finished, there were only 12 golfers playing the south course who finished ahead of him so you would think that will even out a little bit on Friday.

According to Ryan Lavner of Golf Channel this is the just the ninth time Woods has shot par or over in 52 rounds at Torrey Pines.

None of his seven non-major wins there have started with anything over a 71.

But Woods knew this tournament would be a tougher track than usual.

"If they keep the golf course like this it's going to be one hell of a test as the week progresses. It's going to be really difficult to post some good numbers," said Woods.

Here's a look at one of his two good numbers (a birdie) from Thursday:

The tournament will likely hinge on what Woods on the North Course on Friday. If he crushes it to the tune of a 66 or better then he'll be in it until the end. 

But if he shoots another 72 on the course playing four full strokes easier than the one he played on Thursday, well, then he's in trouble.

He likes a tough test, though. When asked earlier in the week if he was pleased that the course was playing so much tougher, he smiled.

"I find it good from past experiences."

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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