Tiger Woods after finishing the 12th on The Ocean Course at Kiawah in Thursday's 1st round of The PGA Championship (image credit Ross Kinnaird/Getty)
Kiawah Island, SC (written by Steve DiMeglio/USA Today) -- Tiger Woods had plenty of reason to be happy with his first round Thursday in the PGA Championship.
There were other reasons, however, that left him forlorn.
On the good side was his 3-under-par 69 at the sweltering Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, the first time the four-time PGA champion has been in the 60s in the final major of the season since his first round in 2009. Woods, the only three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, also needed just 22 putts, an indication that his yearlong putting woes are taking a turn for the better.
And just three shots off the early lead set by Carl Pettersson, Woods is well within striking distance in his attempt to win his 15th major and first since the 2008 U.S. Open.
"I played well today and anything in the 60s is going to be a good start in a major championship, and I'm right there," said Woods, who made birdies at holes 1, 2, 8, 12, 15 and 18. "I putted well on the weekend (at last week's Bridgestone Invitational), made a few adjustments Friday night last week, and felt like I hit a lot of good putts.
"I started the ball on my start lines again and I think I made six putts over 20 feet out there or something like that on the weekend, which is good. I came here with the same thoughts, same feels, and I made a few today."
But Woods headed for the practice range following his round to "clean up some things" with his swing. He hit only 10 of 18 greens and just 9 of 14 fairways. And has been the case this year, Woods didn't take care of the par-5s, which he historically has destroyed. Woods made only one birdie on the four longest holes on the course.
"I'm going to do a little bit of work on the range," Woods said. "I know what to do and just need to do it."
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy began the PGA Championship in impressive fashion, taking advantage of the calm morning at Kiawah Island. On a course softened by rain earlier in the week, McIlroy shot a 5-under 67.
Pettersson was at 6 under, a stroke ahead of McIlroy and Gary Woodland (67). John Daly and defending champion Keegan Bradley both shot 68.
"I really felt like we had to take advantage of the conditions," McIlroy said. "I'm expecting this to be the best day of the week."
Bradley, playing in a group with Woods, also began in impressive fashion with a birdie and an eagle on his first two holes. After starting the round on No. 10, Bradley made a 25-foot putt for eagle on the par-5 11th, while Woods had to scramble for par after a wayward drive.
Contributing: Wire reports