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Tiger Woods leads by three at Grand Slam of Golf

World number one Tiger Woods turned in a sizzling back nine on his way to an opening round five-under 67 and a three-shot lead over defending champion Phil Mickelson at PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Hawaii on Tuesday.

Woods, who was nearly ruled out of the elite four-man 36-hole event after injuring his ankle winning the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan on Sunday, got his round off to a stuttering start with bogeys on two of his opening three holes at the Poipu Bay Golf Course in Kauai.

Also bothered by a stomach virus, the British Open and U.S. Masters champion's unsteady play continued through a rollercoaster outward nine that featured just two pars, four birdies and three bogeys.

However, Woods was flawless after the turn, carding four birdies on his homeward stretch including the 18th to seize control of the event.

In stark contrast to the world number one, Mickelson got his day off to a blistering start by mixing four birdies with a bogey on his opening nine.

The PGA champion had another birdie on the 15th to get to four-under but stumbled at the finish with bogeys at 16 and 17 to settle for a two-under 70.

New Zealand's Michael Campbell also suffered a poor finish, the U.S. Open winner carding three consecutive bogeys from the 15th to record a one-over 73.

World number two Vijay Singh left himself plenty of work to do during Wednesday's final round after returning a three-over 75.

One-under heading into the turn, the Fijian's round unravelled with a quadruple bogey seven on the par-three 11th followed by dropped shots at 12 and 13.

Singh continued to battle, hitting back with birdies on 14 and 15 but will still start the final round eight shots off the pace.

November 23, 2005

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