Woods gets into position at US Open

Maybe it is too early to say that Tiger is back but a tidy opening round of 69 today has placed the 14-time major champion just three shots off the pace in a tie for second alongside Graeme McDowell, Nick Watney, Justin Rose and David Toms.

Woods’ summary of his first round performance was typically to the point.

Tiger Woods An opening round of 69 has Woods’ sights set on his 15th major with the 2012 US Open championship at The Olympic Club (Photo: Anthony Powter)

“I was just trying to execute my game plan,” Woods said.

“That was all I was trying to do. And I did that.”

Woods’ consistent all-around play and his knack for staying out of danger served the world number the world number four well on a day where many, including the Australians, struggled.

After talking this week about how difficult the first six holes were, Woods played the first five holes in two-under, including back-to-back birdies at the 4th and 5th.

“In the practice rounds I hit more woods off the tees because the ball wasn’t chasing as much,” said Woods, who last won a major at the 2008 US Open.

“Today it was quicker and the tees were somewhat up from where we played our practice rounds. Consequently that’s 20 yards and that is a lot. And all of a sudden we’re in the steeper part of slopes or now we’re through doglegs. I had to make the adjustment.”

Australian major championship debutant Alistair Presnell carded an even-par 70 to be tied 7th and the best of the Australians.

The 2009 Moonah Links champion’s score even more impressive given the course average for today’s opening round was almost 75.

John Senden was the next best of the Australians at two-over-par in a tie for 23rd.

It was tough going for the rest of the Aussies with Rod Pampling opening with a 74, Jason Day carding a 75 along with Aaron Baddeley.

Brendan Jones, Geoff Ogilvy Adam Scott and Anthony Summers had 76 and will all have to play very well in the second round to have any chance of making the cut.

The Aussies were not the only ones coming to terms with the demanding Olympic layout with world number one, Luke Donald, shooting 79 and world number two and defending champion, Rory McIlroy, closing the day with a 77.