Tiger: Back nine grind kept me in US PGA

Four-time champion Tiger Woods believed that he was heading out of the US PGA Championship after an awful start, but he rallied impressively.

Tiger Woods at the US PGA Championship   -  Getty Images

Tiger Woods believes that his ability to grind out a score in the first round of the US PGA Championship has kept him in the tournament.

The 14-time major winner made a woeful bogey, double-bogey start and, despite some improvement, could only get back to two over by the time he reached the turn.

But, Woods started to find his range on the back nine and a pair of birdies saw the 42-year-old finish Thursday at even par, which was five strokes back of early leader Rickie Fowler.

"I was able to grind out a score today. It kept me in the golf tournament. I could have easily gone the other way, being three over through two. A lot of things could happen. Not a lot of them were positive, but I hung in there and turned it around," he said.

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"I hit a couple of good shots out there. Early on, I was just hanging on. If I could just give myself a few putts at it, I could turn this thing around. I was putting nice. I made a couple of good putts. It was nice to kind of turn the tide going to that back nine."

Rory McIlroy, also, ended the day with a par score and enjoyed the experience as Woods' playing partner. "It was pretty cool to be out there 8:30 in the morning and have an atmosphere like that," McIlroy said.

"JT [Justin Thomas] and I were saying it's going to get a little crazy tomorrow [Friday] afternoon. So, we're looking forward to that."

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