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Tiger Woods struggles hard to get into the swing of things


Hard work: Tiger Woods on his way to a first round 73

Hard work: Tiger Woods on his way to a first round 73

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Hard work: Tiger Woods on his way to a first round 73

Tiger Woods stuck with a swing that wasn't working and settled into a long week at the Memorial at Muirfield Village.

Woods had to scramble on the front nine to salvage a one over 73 in the opening round, a strong fight and reasonable score though still nowhere near the four-way tie for the lead among the early starters.

Harris English, Ryan Moore, Ken Duke and Brendon Todd each had a 67.

The group at 68 included Masters champion Jordan Spieth, who saved the start of his round with a world-class short game and then made one big mistake that turned a birdie into a bogey late in his round.

Fourteen-time major winner Woods, playing for only the second time since his return at the Masters and trying to find some form ahead of this month's US Open, was all over the course where he has won five times.

He made bogey on his opening hole of a PGA Tour event for the eighth time in his past nine events.

He blocked a tee shot so far right on the 18th that it went out of bounds, and then hit a duck-hook with a three wood on the first hole and scrambled for par.

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Woods, at 39, is making more changes to his swing and was sticking to them regardless of the scores on his card.

"I was just trying to stay committed to what we're working on, to what we're doing," he said.

"I hit it awful, yeah. So what? I was going to go through this phase and stick with it, keep sticking with it.

"And some of the shots I hit were really, really good. But then I also had some really bad shots too. And we need to work on that," he added.

And he did, heading to the practice range to pound drivers.

Woods - 79-time PGA Tour winner who has plunged to No 172 in the world - has worked with Chris Como since last November, and said they implemented more changes since The Players.

Como is the fourth instructor he has used as a pro, and this is his fifth swing change.

Previous changes have taken as long as 18 months for Woods to figure it out. Time is no longer on his side, however, not at his age and with five surgeries behind him.

"Physically, I feel good. Mentally, I feel beat up," Woods said.

"To turn that round around like I did … that was hard."

Francesco Molinari, Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose joined Spieth in the group at 68.

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