Greenbrier Classic 2015: Tiger Woods finds his form to card a four-under 66 in first outing since his US Open meltdown

While Woods' opening round was only good enough for a share of 12th, his performance was markedly improved from his Chambers Bay showing

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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods was in positive mood about his game after bouncing back from his miserable US Open to shoot his lowest score on the PGA Tour this season on day one of The Greenbrier Classic.

Woods' four-under-par 66 was still only enough for a 15-way share of 12th place, four shots adrift of leader Scott Langley, but it represented a significant improvement on recent performances from the former world number one.

In his last outing, Woods missed the cut in the US Open at Chambers Bay with his worst ever score in the event (80 in the first round) and highest 36-hole total of his career (156).

That was one of the low points of what has largely been a dismal 2015 for Woods so far, which has seen him slump to 220th in the world rankings and record three scores in the 80s in his last six tournaments.

However, the 14-time major winner had a much better day in West Virginia on Thursday as he broke 70 for only the third time this season and the first time since the Masters in April, where he carded a four-under-par 68 in the third round.

Starting on the 10th at The Old White TPC, Woods carded birdies on the 12th, 15th and 16th before dropping his first shot of the day on the 17th to reach the turn in 34.

After a birdie on the second, Woods looked to have undone much of his good work with a double bogey on the sixth, where he thinned a bunker shot across the green, but he responded superbly to finish his round with three straight birdies.

When asked after his round what positive results like this would mean to him going forward, Woods said: "I felt like I wasn't very far away.

"I know people think I'm crazy for saying that, but I just felt like I wasn't that far. I just had to make a couple little tweaks, and I felt like I pulled that off.

"It started at Memorial, making a big (swing) change there, and then it's just finally starting to click in now."

Asked how close he thought he was overall, Woods replied "very close".

Woods' efforts on Thursday left the 39-year-old in a good position to avoid missing the cut in consecutive PGA Tour events for the first time in his illustrious career, albeit lying four shots behind leader Langley who carded a flawless 62.

Another American, Jonathan Byrd, was second on seven under after a 63 alongside New Zealand's Danny Lee, while England's Brian Davis was a further shot back in a tie for fourth with Japan's Ryo Ishikawa.

Defending champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina shot a one-over-par 71.

PA

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