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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (AP) - It was hot, humid and his putts were lipping out. Tiger Woods felt as if he’d been run over halfway through his first round in Malaysia since winning the 1999 World Cup on the same course.
The 14-time major winner rallied, making five birdies on the back nine Thursday for a 5-under 66 that left him three strokes behind leader Troy Matteson in the CIMB Classic. Matteson had eight birdies in his 63 to take a one-stroke lead over fellow Americans Jeff Overton, Brian Harman and Robert Garrigus.
Woods, in the last pairing with Australia’s Marcus Fraser, birdied Nos. 3 and 5, but missed two short par putts at the eighth and ninth and seemed frustrated, frequently wiping his face and neck with a white towel and glaring after the balls that didn’t drop in the cup.
He rallied with birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 and added three more on Nos. 15-17.
The tournament will become a full-fledged PGA Tour event next year when the tour begins its new season in October after the FedEx Cup.
A lightning and thunderstorm started dumping rain on the course less than an hour after play ended and, with the forecast for more rain on Friday, organizers decided to move tee times ahead by 40 minutes in the second round.
Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Italy’s Francesco Molinari were tied for second at 66s.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, had a 67 and blamed a headache on the air pollution over China’s financial capital. Fellow Northern Ireland player Michael Hoey and Europe Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal also shot 67.
LPGA TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
YANG MEI, Taiwan (AP) _ South Korea’s Inbee Park shot a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over local favorite and top-ranked Yani Tseng after the first round of the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Park, the tour money leader who won the Evian Masters in July in France and the LPGA Malaysia two weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur, had seven birdies at Sunrise Golf and Country Club.
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