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Tiger Woods and his caddie Steve Williams celebrate his bomb of a birdie putt on the 16th hole Thursday at Carnoustie. (Photo: Getty Images)
Tiger Woods and his caddie Steve Williams celebrate his bomb of a birdie putt on the 16th hole Thursday at Carnoustie. (Photo: Getty Images)

Tiger pleased with 69, a 'good, positive start'

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He canned a monstrous 100-foot birdie putt, got a "weird" drop off some TV cables and avoided most of the trouble at Carnoustie. And in the end, Tiger Woods finished with a solid 69 that left him near the lead at the Open Championship.

By Melanie Hauser, Correspondent

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- He said it was pretty simple.

Made a huge shoulder turn and the ball dove in the hole.

Yes, Tiger Woods, whose tee shot was a "monster 2-iron," was grinning. Who wouldn't when an improbable 100-footer finds the bottom of the cup for birdie at the 16th hole at Carnoustie. One of the day's best shots, no question.

Of course, he wasn't too pleased when his birdie putt at 18 didn't fall for a 68, but ...

"I feel good about it," Woods said of his opening round. "I'm very satisfied with shooting 69 and getting off to a good, positive start."

The man who's looking for his fourth Claret Jug -- and third in a row -- at this week's 136th Open Championship was in the mix all day. He was 3-under through his first six holes, courtesy of an eagle at the par-5 6th.

"I had 207 to the front with a 7-iron," he said. "Just hit a low draw, the wind was down off the right. It landed short, rolled up past the hole. I probably had about a 18-footer right to left. And it went in."

Then, he got a strange ruling at the 10th. He hit his drive left toward the television cables and the official there told him to take a drop because the cables were deemed immovable objects. He did not ask the official for a drop.

"I've never seen a ruling like that," Tiger said. "Usually TV cables are movable, but they deemed it immovable. They couldn't move them out of there.

"It was a weird drop."

And even though he dropped into thinner rough, he said it didn't help. "I dropped a little bit worse," he said.

Mistakes -- as he said -- at the 12th and 13th -- led to bogeys. Then came 16. And an almost -- he stuck it in birdie range then missed the putt -- rounded out the first day.

Unless, of course, you count three television interviews, two radio interviews and a stop by the podium to talk with print reporters -- a light day -- that followed signing his scorecard.

Related Open Championship Content:
Course: Tour Carnoustie
The Field: See who's playing
Watch Open Championship Video
All the Open Championship News

So, how does he fancy his chances going into the second round?

"It all depends on the wind," he said. "After my three practice rounds here on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and they had three different winds, today was slightly different than the other three days I played. You have to adjust to the winds and play numbers and where your ball needs to be."

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