Guess Whos Back -- on Top

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2005 Deutsche Bank ChampionshipNORTON, Mass. -- Tiger Woods certainly put himself in position for his fifth consecutive victory.
 
On Friday, the No. 1 player in the world fired a 5-under-par 66 and is alone in the lead after the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC of Boston.
 
Justin Rose
Justin Rose is trying to reverse a tough year by winning this week.
Woods has won his last four starts on the PGA TOUR, including his third British Open title and his third PGA Championship. He also notched wins at the Buick Open and last week in a playoff at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
 
There was also a concern for jet lag as Woods left Sunday night with his Ryder Cup teammates for a practice session at The K Club in Ireland. He returned on Wednesday, played the pro-am on Thursday and was on the first tee Friday morning.
 
'I feel good now,' acknowledged Woods.
 
Not feeling good at the moment would be those under him on the leaderboard.
 
Bob May, who lost to Woods in a playoff at the 2000 PGA Championship, Justin Rose, Joe Ogilvie, Nathan Green and this year's winner in Hilton Head, Aaron Baddeley are knotted in second place at minus-4.
 
This is the only scheduled tournament on the TOUR with a Monday finish to take advantage of the national holiday in the U.S. Woods is also heavily involved in the tournament as several of his charities benefit this week.
 
Since this is Woods' event, it's a little strange he has never hoisted the trophy. That may be moot come Monday afternoon, because the way Woods is playing now, someone will have to play amazing golf to beat him.
 
He wasted little time on Friday as he birdied the first hole. The No. 1 ranked player in the world rattled off back-to-back birdies from the sixth, including a chip-in at No. 7, to reach 3 under par.
 
On the second nine, Woods flew out of the gate. He drained a 12-footer for birdie at the 10th hole that put him in a tie for the lead with several players at 4 under par.
 
Woods found trouble at the 13th when his drive rattled through some tress and came to rest in the rough. He hit a poor second shot, then pitched to five feet and missed the par try.
 
'I hit three bad shots right in a row,' admitted Woods. 'And then I got it going.'
 
Woods birdied the 14th to get back to 4 under par then caught a good break at the par-5 closing hole.
 
He landed in the fairway off the tee and had a lie that set up a left-to-right shot. Woods thought his 3-wood approach rolled into a hazard, but it found a bunker instead. He got up and down for birdie and put himself in an extremely familiar position - atop the leaderboard.
 
'I got a lot out of my round today,' said Woods, who tied for 40th last year. 'I played very conservatively on the front nine because of weather, but I'm in control of my golf ball.'
 
Winds swirled on each hole and heavy rain is expected for the weekend.
 
Former British Open champion Todd Hamilton, Jason Gore, Peter Lonard, Nicholas Thompson, Robert Karlsson, Michael Allen and one of Woods' Ryder Cup teammates, J.J. Henry, are knotted in seventh place at 3-under-par 68.
 
Defending champion Olin Browne opened with a 2-under-par 69 and is part of a group tied for 14th place along with Kenny Perry, 2003 PGA champion Shaun Micheel and 1996 U.S. Open winner Steve Jones.
 
Related Links:
  • Leaderboard - Deutsche Bank Championship
  • Full Coverage - Deutsche Bank Championship