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Snedeker steals the day from Tiger Woods


Brandt Snedeker's storming 61 stole the thunder from Tiger Woods' 2007 season debut on Thursday in the first-round of the US$5.2 million Buick Invitational.

Snedeker started on the 10th tee of the 6,874-yard, par-72 North Course at Torrey Pines, the easier of the two layouts used in the event, and was nine-under through nine holes with seven birdies and an eagle.

"I don't know if they know who I am or what was going on," Brandt Snedeker, 26, said. "But they were sure rooting me on like they were my best friend. It was great."

Tiger Woods got off to a bad start and finished on six-under 66, as compared with Brandt Snedeker who had six birdies and an eagle in his first seven holes and then went on to add three more birdies for a two-shot lead over South Korean golfer Charlie Wie.

Tiger Woods, making his first appearance of this year and seeking a seventh victory in as many US tour starts, rallied from a rocky beginning that included bogeys at two of his first three holes.

"It took me probably three or four holes before I got back into the flow of competition, back in the rhythm of the round," he said. "I was already two-over-par, which is not a good sign."

However, he got on track with three birdies in a row from 14, and capped each half of the course with an eagle. At 18, his five-iron second shot hit the pin, while his five-iron at his No. 9 finishing hole left him about a seven-foot putt.

"I thought I did really well today," said Tiger Woods, who in fact matched his best opening round in this event, which he has won a total of four times. "I drove it really consistent all day, a couple of loose iron shots here and there, but once I got my speed on the greens I was able to make some putts."

World number one Tiger Woods admitted his surprise when he saw Brandt Snedeker on the scoreboard at eight under through seven holes and he put it this way: "We thought it was a misprint."


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