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    Thompson sets pace but Tiger close behind

    Jun 15, 2012

    Michael Thompson shot a four-under 66 to grab the lead while Tiger Woods shared second spot with four others after the first round of the U.S. Open on Thursday.

    Thompson hit seven birdies, including four in the last eight holes, for a three-stroke lead at Olympic Club in San Francisco where he finished second in the 2007 US Amateur Championship.

    Tiger Woods carded a 69 with a late charge that featured back-to-back birdies on Nos.  4 and 5, the latter with a 35-foot putt that drew huge cheers from the crowd.

    The 36-year-old Woods started rather quietly from No. 9 of the Lake Course, with consecutive pars and a bogey on the 14th before making his first birdie on No. 17. He shared second place with Nick Watney, Justin Rose, David Toms and Graeme McDowell.

    The 14-time Major winner was the only one who played well in a marquee threesome. Phil Mickelson started with two bogeys and never recovered, finishing with a 76 to match his worst opening round in a US Open. Masters champion Bubba Watson had an even tougher day, making only one birdie in a round of 78.

    The world’s top three played together and finished nowhere near the leaderboard, with No. 1 Luke Donald failing to hit a single birdie and carding a 79.

    Rory McIlroy, winner in 2011 at Congressional and now world No. 2, fired a 77 and No. 3 Lee Westwood had a 73 for a share of 39th place.

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