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Tiger's putter lets him down at Congressional

Vijay Singh
Gail Burton/AP
Singh finished at four under par.

At peace, but not at his best. His first tee shot landed in the thick rough, and his first putt of the day lipped out, prompting a puzzled look as he rubbed his upper lip with his index finger. He bogeyed the par-3 No. 2 after misplaying a sand shot, then was standing at the No. 3 tee box in the rain when the horn sounded to stop play.

The delay was only 18 minutes, but it seemed to calm Woods. He birdied two of the next three holes but was woefully inconsistent the rest of the round. He figured his final putt at No. 16 was a gimmie, so he tried to tap it in with an awkward stance and missed.

At No. 18, his tee shot hit a man in the face and shoulder. Woods gave the man an autographed glove and apologized, then went on to bogey the hole with another miss from 2 1/2 feet.

Meanwhile, 28 players were under par on 7,204-yard, par-70 course that was expected to be a tough test with its high rough and long par 4s.

"There's a bunch of guys up there right now,'' Woods said. "I've got three rounds. I can't get them in one.''

The leaderboard is an eclectic mix of styles, ranging from the long-hitting Singh to older, lay-up players such as 51-year-old Fred Funk and 47-year-old Corey Pavin, who are both one stroke off the lead. In the star partnership of Phil Mickelson (74) and Adam Scott (72), Brad Faxon outshone them both as the third member of the threesome, beating might with accuracy with a steady 69, even as his partners consistently out-drove him.

"When they put the deep rough like they have this week, that's my equalizer,'' Funk said. "The harder the golf course, the better for me in my opinion.''

Mickelson, who is battling a left wrist injury, was rusty in his first tournament since missing the cut at the U.S. Open. Mickelson didn't wear a brace and blamed two bogeys and a double bogey on his putting rather than his injury.

"I was told that it may hurt, but I won't be doing any more damage,'' Mickelson said. "So I've been going after it pretty good, and it does hurt, but as long as I am not doing any more damage I'm OK.''

Divots: NCAA champion Jamie Lovemark was one shot off the lead with a 67. The 19-year-old amateur just finished his freshman year at USC. ... There were no bogey-free rounds and only two eagles: Funk holed out from 139 yards at the par-4 No. 12, and Brett Wetterich eagled the par-5 ninth.

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