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Tiger Woods shakes off rust with 3-under first round at British Open

Tiger Woods charges back into competition with a 3-under 69 in the first round of the British Open

All week long, Tiger Woods has been insisting that his game is on the rebound after back surgery.

On Thursday, he proved it.

After a bogey-bogey start, Woods charged back to finish with a three-under-par 69 in the first round of the British Open at Royal Liverpool.

"I'm only going to get better from that point," he told reporters. "And I'm getting stronger, I'm getting faster, I'm getting more explosive. The ball is starting to travel again."

The Open marks only the second time Woods has played since a March 31 microdiscectomy. He had rounds of 74 and 75 in his comeback bow at the Quicken Loans National last month.

On a sunny, calm day at Royal Liverpool he got things turned around with a save for par on No. 4 and went on to birdie six holes. That kept him within three strokes of the early leader, Rory McIlroy.

Asked about areas of his game that still need improvement, Woods responded: "Pretty much everything. I need to get everything a little bit better."

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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