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Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington shot 67 and 68, respectively, Thursday at the PGA Championship, making it look like a walk in the park. (Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Daily Wrap-up: PGA Championship, Round 1

Just days after battling each other for the Bridgestone Invitational title, Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington put on another great golf display and are 1 and 2 on the leaderboard after the first round.

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) -- Tiger Woods shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 to be one stroke ahead of playing partner and defending champion Padraig Harrington atop the leaderboard at the PGA Championship on Thursday.

"There are times I've put it together and had some pretty good margins of victory," Woods said. "I just feel that, overall, my game over the years has gotten better. It's become more consistent. I usually don't make too many mistakes."

He didn't on this day, breaking 70 in the opening round of a major for the first time since the 2007 British Open. He made birdies on all but one of Hazeltine National's long par 5s and hit 12 of 14 fairways. His only "flaw" was a few missed putts, including ones for birdie on each of his last two holes.

"It's always nice to get off quick, but the first round -- you can play yourself out of a tournament but you certainly cannot win it on the first day," said Woods, who has four Wanamaker Trophies among his 14 major titles.

"You don't have to be eight ahead after the first round, that's not it. You've got to just keep plugging along."

Harrington, who also won the 2007 and '08 British Opens, actually shared the lead with Woods after three birdies in a five-hole span on their back nine. But he settled for par on the long seventh after his putt from the fringe rolled about two inches past while Woods two-putted from 30 feet for a birdie.

Robert Allenby, whose second-place finish at Bridgestone last weekend was overshadowed by the duel between Woods and Harrington, was at 3 under with Hunter Mahan, Mathew Goggin, Alvaro Quiros and David Toms. Vijay Singh joined them after nearly holing his second shot on the 16th. The ball landed above the hole and spun back toward the cup, stopping at the rim and leaving him an easy tap-in for birdie.

Singh, a two-time winner at the U.S. PGA, hasn't made the cut at the year's final major since 2005, when he tied for 10th.

Phil Mickelson, who missed the British Open to tend to wife Amy, who has breast cancer, was having an up-and-down afternoon. He was at 3 over after going bogey-double bogey on Nos. 9 and 10, but got one of the strokes back with a birdie at the 11th.

"The first day of a major, it's always good to keep yourself in there. I think I probably did a little bit more than that," Harrington said.

Having an early lead could be key if the weather turns foul. It was hot, humid and breezy on Thursday, but strong winds are expected on Friday. There's a possibility of rain during the weekend.

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The 572-yard par-5 seventh. It played to a scoring average of 4.698 on Thursday. There was one eagle, 64 birdies, 74 pars, 15 bogeys and two double bogeys. The 518-yard par-4 12th. It played to a scoring average of 4.512 on Thursday. There were five birdies, 73 pars, 71 bogeys and seven double bogeys.

Vijay Singh almost holed out from the fairway with his second shot on the 402-yard, par-4 16th. Instead, his ball rested on the rim for a tap-in birdie. The honors go to Tiger Woods, who shot a flawless, bogey-free, 5-under 67 to lead Round 1. He missed two birdie putts that could have taken him lower.


By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents

CHASKA, Minn. -- The conversation Sunday went something like this.

"I'm playing Titleist," said Padraig Harrington, who led by three at the time. "And I've got a Nike -- good luck," countered Tiger Woods.

Little else was said between the handshakes on the first tee at Firestone Country Club last Sunday and those on the 18th green after Tiger Woods came from behind to won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational for the seventh time. It was, after all, a "business day," as Harrington would later point out, and the intensity of each competitor was palpable.

Thursday's first round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National was very different, though. The two men, who had won the last two PGAs, found themselves playing together again along with Rich Beem, the winner at Hazeltine in 2002. Instead of grinding to win a golf tournament, though, they were just trying to play themselves into that position.

The three did a pretty good job, too. Woods fired a bogey-free 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Harrington, the defending champ, and a four-stroke edge on Beem. But there was time to chat, too -- even marvel over what it took for Alvaro Quiros to reach the 11th green in two from 606 yards out, into the wind, while Woods, Harrington and Beem were still putting out.

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By T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer

CHASKA, Minn. -- Understandably, Rich Beem was the forgotten man in Thursday morning’s supergroup as he teed it up alongside multiple major winners Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington.

However, Beem shouldn’t have been overlooked. He’s done something neither Woods nor Harrington has yet -- earned a major win here at Hazeltine.

Beem’s 2002 victory in the last PGA Championship contested at Hazeltine seems like eons ago. In a lot of ways it was. Since then, Beem hasn’t exactly set the golf world ablaze. It was his last PGA Tour victory and one of just 10 top 10s.

Coming back to Minnesota, however, must have stirred up some great memories for the former cell phone salesman and son of a PGA Professional, because Beem shot an equal-part respectable, and impressive, 1-under 71 in the first round that had him four shots behind Woods, the leader at 5 under, and three behind Harrington, the defending PGA Champion, at 4 under.

“Just a couple of guys just having a nice quiet 3-ball day out there,” Beem said about his threesome tongue-in-cheek. “Of course about 30,000 people screaming their heads off. It was a blast.”

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By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM Chief of Correspondents

CHASKA, Minn. -- It's hard to imagine two players who rode more momentum into the 91st PGA Championship than Hunter Mahan and  Robert Allenby.

OK. So Tiger Woods comes to mind. But that's pretty much a given wherever the world No. 1 plays and that win last week at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, his second in as many weeks, was just more fuel for the ever-burning fire.

Allenby surged into a tie for second behind Woods, though, with a sizzling 66 on Sunday, his fourth sub-par round on a major-league layout at Firestone Country Club. Mahan shared fourth, which marked the fourth time he'd finished sixth or better in his last five starts.

So it's no surprise to see the two open with rounds of 3-under 69 at Hazeltine on Thursday that left them two strokes off the pace being set by Woods. Allenby had five birdies and a double bogey in the first round while Mahan made four birdies and dropped a single shot to par.

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