Tiger Woods 1 over at Greenbrier

Updated: July 5, 2012, 8:41 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Coming off an impressive victory Sunday, Tiger Woods was back to ordinary Thursday in his first appearance at the Greenbrier Classic, calling his opening round "frustrating."

Woods managed just a 1-over-par score of 71 on the Old White TPC course at the Greenbrier and trailed old nemesis Vijay Singh by 8 strokes.

Singh, 49, who battled Woods for No. 1 in the world in 2004 and '05, shot 63, including a 6-under 30 on the back nine.

Woods is coming off his third victory of the year and 74th of his PGA Tour career Sunday in the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club.

But everything was a bit out of sync during his first tournament round in West Virginia.

"I was just a little off today,'' said Woods, who drove into a hazard leading to a double-bogey, and three times failed to get up and down for pars. He also needed 31 putts.

"I didn't have the speed of these greens at all. The last three tournaments (Memorial, U.S. Open, AT&T National), I played greens that were awfully quick and had a lot of swing at the end because of how fast they are. I missed every single putt high today. I never hit one that missed on the low side. I was giving too much break and didn't work out.''

Playing with with U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, who shot 65, and Steve Stricker, Woods got off to a quick start with birdies on two of his first three holes, but he was sloppy around the greens.

He failed to get up and down at the par-4 13th, then drove into a hazard at the par-5 17th. After finding the green with his fourth shot, Woods three-putted, missing a 2-footer for bogey.

"Simple little tap in, and I just blocked it,'' he said.

He then made two birdies and two bogeys on his final nine, and was tied for 88th entering the second round.

Woods downplayed the fact that it is his first time playing the Greenbrier. He had a nine-hole practice round wiped out by weather Tuesday, then played the pro-am Wednesday. During all three of his victories this year, Woods won at courses (Bay Hill, Muirfield Village and Congressional) where he has vast experience.

"I just didn't make the adjustments,'' Woods said. "It was a course you could tear apart today. You get the ball in the fairway here, you're going to have a 9-iron on down and you can attack this golf course. I think most of the scores will probably be at least 2-under par or better, and most of the guys can be pretty aggressive here.''

Last week was the first time Woods won a regular PGA Tour event (he's done it twice in majors) when he opened with a score over par. But at Congressional, he was just 5 strokes back on a course that was averaging 4 over par.

Here, Woods will have much more work to do if he is going to win for the second straight week and fourth time this year. He is also trying to post consecutive top-10 finishes for the first time since 2009.

Woods will tee off at 1:20 p.m. ET Friday.

The 49-year-old Singh birdied his final four holes. He won the last of his 34 PGA Tour titles in 2008.

Jeff Maggert, a year younger than Singh, was a stroke back at 64 along with Jonathan Byrd and Martin Flores. Simpson topped a group at 65.

Singh has not won since the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship, his last of three victories that year.

Phil Mickelson, who missed the cut last year, also had a 71.

Defending champion Scott Stallings birdied his final three holes for a 67.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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