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Frustrated Woods simply can't "let it go"

Tiger Woods offered a tantalising glimpse of his old self at the PGA Championship on Thursday before the...

Tiger Woods looks on from the fifth hole during the first round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011. Picture: AFP

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Tiger Woods offered a tantalising glimpse of his old self at the PGA

Championship on Thursday before the erratic play that has dogged him through

the past, winless, two years returned to wreck his opening round.

"I'm not down, I'm angry right

now," said a dejected Woods, a four-times PGA Championship winner who

found himself down at the foot of the leaderboard alongside club professionals

Mike Northern and Faber Jamerson.

After five holes, on the more challenging

back nine, Woods was three under par and tied for the lead before his game

unravelled to leave him with his worst first round score in a major -- a

seven-over-par 77.

Birdies in glorious sunshine, warm applause

from the gallery and Woods in contention for a major - for an hour it felt to

those watching that the 35-year-old, whose career has been derailed by personal

troubles and injuries, really was back.

Now the challenge for Woods becomes simply to

play well enough on Friday to survive the cut and avoid another low point in a

deeply disappointing season.

Woods, who had looked tidy and in control in

ideal conditions, said that his old swing problems returned as he consciously

loosened up following three birdies in the first five holes.

"Every shot I hit up to that point were

all mechanical thoughts, I put the club in a certain position, and I was doing

that and I said, 'You know what, I'm feeling good. Let's just let it go.' And

it cost me the whole round," he said.

Before his three-month absence to resolve leg

injuries, Woods, who has not won a tournament since 2009, had been working on a

new swing with coach Sean Foley.

MECHANICAL PROCESS

Dealing with the mechanical process

andre-adjusting so many parts of a game that once seemed to come so naturally

to him clearly means that the 14-times major winner can no longer just let the

shots flow.

Saying he had many elements of his technique

to work on before returning for his second round, Woods was clearly frustrated

that he could not lift his game for a major.

"I can't say just one (thing to work

on), because it's a lot of different things," he said. "What causes

the ball to shape more? It's a bunch of things. So it's just unfortunately I'm

not at a point that I can let it go.

"I've been in this process before: I've

been through it with (coach) Butch Harmon; I've been through it with Hank

(Haney); and now I've been through it with Sean.

"I just thought, this is a major, and

you peak for these events. And once you get to a major championship, you just

let it fly, let it go. And I did and it cost me."

The downfall began with a double-bogey on

the tricky, long par-three 15th where Woods struck his tee shot into the water

hazard to the right of the green.

Another double came on the 18th and then the

front nine, Woods' back nine, was a long and painful series of mistakes with

four bogeys, a double-bogey on the sixth and just one birdie on the fifth to

ease the pain.

It was a sorry end to his round but it was

even sadder to hear Woods describe how he simply cannot do what he once

produced to order.

"I'm in a major championship, it's time

to score, time to play and time to let it go," he said. "And it cost

me the round."