Tiger making early charge at Carnoustie

July 19, 2007

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND — Let the record show that it was a little before 11 a.m. local time Thursday morning when Tiger Woods took the lead at the 136th Open Championship.

Woods’s eagle on the par-5 6th hole vaulted him into a brief share of the lead at three-under-par with K.J. Choi, before the Korean pulled ahead with a birdie at the 13th. A bogey on the par-3 8th hole — caused by a tee shot pulled into a deep bunker left of the green — soon dropped Woods back to two under par, two strokes off the lead.

Others making an early move include Retief Goosen, Ireland’s Paul McGinley and American Scott Verplank, all at three under. The group tied with Woods at two under includes Michael Campbell and Rod Pampling, the Aussie who led at Carnoustie after round one in 1999 but went on to miss the cut.

The Justins (Leonard and Rose) are three off the lead alongside Thomas Bjorn, Steve Stricker and Ian Poulter.

Among those struggling are Davis Love III, who made a triple bogey on the third hole and stands at four over through 8 holes. He is tied with former U.S. Open winner Geoff Ogilvy. The group at two over includes Adam Scott, Darren Clarke and Nick Faldo.

Local favorite Colin Montgomerie is at level par while British Amateur champion Drew Weaver, a student at Virginia Tech, shot even par on the front nine.

The leader in the clubhouse is unknown Frenchman Gregory Bourdy. His level-par 70 was the lowest round of the early starters. No one else bettered 74.