More woes for Woods at Open

 Tiger Woods (AFP)
Tiger Woods (AFP)

St Andrews - Tiger Woods is in danger of missing back-to-back cuts in majors for the first time in his career after a first round of four-over par at The Open on Thursday.

After carding a dismal 76, it meant Woods was also facing the third time in four outings at a Grand Slam event that the 14-time major winner had failed to play at the weekend.

The writing was on the wall as early as the first hole that the golfing Gods had again turned against the hugely popular American when he buried his approach shot in the water at the Swilcan Burn.

The 39-year-old, dressed in sober grey like many of the golfers, managed to get down in two from the drop but still bogeyed his fifth opening hole in his last seven major starts.

Despite big crowds lining the windswept fairways of the mythical Old Course at St Andrews, the 39-year-old had another day to forget as he made just one birdie all day in a group that also featured 2010 champion Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Australian Jason Day.

While most of the talk in the build-up had surrounded the 21-year-old Texan Jordan Spieth and his bid for a rare third major in a row, the biggest crowds, at least to start with, were following Woods who won on the Old Course in 2000 and 2005.

Woods steadied the ship with two straight pars at 3 and 4, but on a day when birdies were ripe for the taking, his stoneface expression tightened even further with further bogeys at five and seven.

Already in danger of missing the cut for the second straight major after June's US Open, Woods was nine shots off the lead having played just six holes.

After playing the front nine in four over 40, he dropped another shot at the par 4 tenth before finally giving his fans something to cheer about with his first birdie of the day at the relatively easy par-5 14th.

In the same group, Day gradually climbed the leaderboard with five birdies and no bogeys to the same point, while Oosthuizen quietly went about his business and bounced back from his first bogey at 13 to birdie the next to rest on four under.

Three straight pars for Woods followed, including a fine four at 17, the notorious Road Hole, where birdies are rare and bogeys are common.

Up ahead, American Dustin Johnson became the clubhouse leader after a sparkling round of 7-under 65 that included an eagle and 18 holes of bogey-free golf.

Scotland's Paul Lawrie, South African Retief Goosen and American debutant Robert Streb were all in the clubhouse on six under while Day completed the quartet, one shot back, when he parred the final hole for 66.

Woods had a golden chance to finish with a smile and a birdie at the 18th, but he slid his 15ft putt wide of the hole and settled for par.

Oosthuizen however made no mistake with a longer, winding putt that dropped into the middle of the cup for a birdie which left him on five-under and two shots back.

By the time Woods trudged off the final green, he was tied for 128th with 132 players in the 156-strong field having begun or completed their rounds.

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