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Singh Putts Way to Grand Slam Lead

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Vijay Singh carded a 3-under-par 69 to take the lead after the first round of the 36-hole PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Kauai, Hawaii. The reigning Masters champion leads Tiger Woods (71) by two shots. Tom Lehman (73) stands four off the lead, while Paul Azinger is five back after opening in 74.
 
Battling windswept conditions and a balky driver, Singh put together one of his best putting performances since his victory in Augusta. The Fijian rolled in four birdies and posted but one bogey en route to the only sub-70 round of the day.
 
'I putted really well,' Singh said. 'I made a lot of six-footers for par and in the windy conditions, you need to do that.'
 
As for the 1-wood, Singh responded: 'It may be in two pieces already.'
 
Woods found the going a bit tougher on Tuesday than his counterpart. Tiger experienced plane trouble trying to exit Bangkok, Thailand, where he won last week's Johnnie Walker Classic. As a result, the two-time defending champion didn't arrive at the Poipu Bay Golf Club until a couple of hours before his 9:00am tee time.
 
'I could have thought of a lot of other places I would have wanted to be,' said Woods, who took a quick jog before the beginning of his round.
 
After an erratic front side, which included three bogeys, three pars and a pair of birdies, Woods steadied himself with three birdies to just one bogey over his final seven holes. Following his five-hour round, Tiger said: 'I figured if I could hang in there and shoot something around par it would keep me in the tournament with a chance to win.'
 
Lehman's round was even shakier than that of Tiger's. The 1996 Grand Slam champion posted five birdies, three bogeys and a triple-bogey 6 after dumping his tee shot into the water at the par-3 11th.
 
At the crux of Lehman's roller coaster round was his putting. The '96 British Open champion alternated between the conventional and cross-handed styles. The result was three 3-putts for the day.
 
Azinger, who won the SONY Open in Hawaii in January, played steadily throughout the first round. The 1993 PGA Champion threw in one birdie, one bogey and a double-bogey 7 at the par-5 17th to go along with 15 pars.