Woods and McIlroy tame Kiawah

Updated: August 10, 2012

Tiger Woods began his quest for a 15th Major title and first since the US Open in 2008 with a battling three under par 69 in the opening round of the PGA Championship.

The American superstar carded six birdies – including three on the bounce around the turn – and three bogeys as the thunderstorms of earlier in the week gave way to dry and boiling hot conditions for the start of the USPGA Championship.

Rory McIlroy, replaced by Woods as the world No2 recently, was another to take advantage of the conditions on the course made famous by the “War on the Shore” Ryder Cup in 1991.

McIlroy’s round of five under 67 put him in a share of third place, two shots behind Dutch debutant Joost Luiten, after reciving a helping hand from a spectator.

In last month’s Open at Royal Lytham McIlroy’s hopes of a second major title nosedived after he rebounded off a teenager’s head out of bounds late on the first day.

On this occasion he hit a lady on the hip after badly pulling his tee shot to the dangerous short 17th – his eighth – but it came back into a nice lie in the sand only 25 feet from the flag. From there the 23-year-old Northern Irishman, already three under for the day, splashed out to six feet, saved his par and brought a cheer from the gallery by running back to give the fan the ball.

McIlroy had opened with a 12-foot birdie putt, converted a 10-foot chance on the short 14th and then chipped to six feet at the long 16th – a hole which saw then playing partner Jim Furyk, three under at the time, needing three attempts to putt up a bank right of the green and take a double bogey seven.

Come the front nine McIlroy picked up further strokes at the long second and 480-yard sixth and kept a bogey off his card to be in the clubhouse alongside big-hitting American Gary Woodland.

Former amateur star Luiten is playing his first major in America this week and it was a dream start, three birdies in five holes being followed by a 25-foot putt for eagle at the 581-yard 16th.