Tiger falters after strong start

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Despite a couple of early birdies, Tiger Woods ending up falling further down the leaderboard at Firestone on Sunday.

Despite a couple of early birdies, Tiger Woods ending up falling further down the leaderboard at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.

Starting the day in 38th place, the early signs were good for Woods, as he birdied the second and fifth holes to pick up two early shots.

But a double bogey, his second of the tournament, was to follow on the par-four 469-yard sixth hole, as he went from the left rough into a greenside bunker and failed to make the green with his fourth shot.

Another miscued drive came on the eighth, and it led to another dropped shot, as he made the turn in one-over 36 – now in 47th place in a field of 76.

His back nine was not faring much better, with two more bogeys to come on the 10th and 13th holes – but he did get one back on the par-three 15th.

Though he would have been hoping for better in his first tournament back since pulling out of the Players Championship in May, he is at least improving on his performance here last year, when he finished 78th out of 80. For a seven-time winnner here, however, that may not be much consolation.

Other notables doing even worse were Padraig Harrington, who finished six over, Graeme McDowell, who finished nine over, and Open champion Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter, both at 12 over par.

Paul Casey fared a bit better, a 67 lifting him to two over and providing some much needed confidence ahead of the US PGA Championship next week.

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