EAST LOTHIAN, Scotland, July 18 (UPI) -- Seeking the third leg of the Grand Slam, Tiger Woods was one of 37 golfers in the first round of the British Open to break par on the eastern coast of Scotland, carding a 1-under-par 70.
That put him just three strokes behind co-leaders David Toms, Duffy Waldorf and unheralded Swede Karl Pettersson, who shot 4-under 67s under partly sunny afternoon skies.
Playing relatively short at just over 7,000 yards but challenging enough to keep scores from going low, Muirfield is a far cry from Augusta National (Masters) and Bethpage Black (U.S. Open), which favored big hitters.
Some of those in contention at the season's third major challenged Woods at The Masters and U.S. Open. Others had little chance.
One was Toms, reigning PGA Champion and seven-time Tour winner, who doesn't have the length but plenty enough game.
Woods gets geared up to win them, no matter what the course. He put himself in position for his third straight major title and ninth of his career with a round that included a handful of lipped-out birdie putts.
Woods and Toms aren't the only elite players in contention. World No. 2 Phil Mickelson, still seeking his first major title, finished with consecutive birdies and was one of 12 players to shoot 68. The group at 68 includes a wide range--from a former world No. 1 like Nick Price of Zimbabwe to unheralded internationals like Jean-Francois Remesy of France and Soren Hansen of Denmark.
Also at 68 are Steve Jones, Scotland's Sandy Lyle and Ireland's Des Smyth--a trio of players well past their prime--and Englishman Justin Rose. Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, Japan's Shigeki Maruyama, Len Mattiace and Stephen Ames of Trinidad round out those at 68. Padraig Harrington of Ireland and 1998 champion Mark O'Meara were two of six players to sign for 69s.
Armstrong takes Tour de France lead
LA MONGIE, France, July 18 (UPI) -- American Lance Armstrong won the 11th stage of the sightsee de France Thursday and moved atop the overall standings for the first time since the first day of the race.
The 11th stage was the first in the mountains, where Arsmtrong has excelled in winning the event each of the last three years.
He completed the 98.2-mile trek in 4 hours, 21 minutes and 57 seconds for his first stage win since taking the prologue on on July 6. Armstrong started Thursday 26 seconds out of the lead but beat Spaniard Joseba Beloki by seven seconds.
Belocki, who has not won a stage, fell 1:12 behind the overall leader.
Quigley defends seniors title
CHICAGO, July 18 (UPI) -- Dana Quigley, whose ironman record for consecutive appearances grows every week, returns to the Chicago area to defend his title at the SBC Senior Open.
However, he will have to do it at a different location. Harborside International Golf Center, a Scottish links-style course designed by Dick Nugent in 1994, replaces Kemper Lakes asthe site of annual 54-hole event that begins Friday.
The 55-year-old Quigley will be playing in his 189th consecutive tournament for which he has been eligible and his 175th in a row overall.
He earned his only victory of the year at the Siebel Classic in Silicon Valley in early March and ranks fourth on the money list with $1,144,478.
Surgery for Red Wings captain
DETROIT, July 18 (UPI) -- Steve Yzerman, who overcame a painful knee injury to help the Detroit Red Wings win a third Stanley Cup in six years, reportedly will undergo surgery next month and will be sidelined until January.
The Detroit News reported Thursday that Yzerman decided against reconstructive surgery but will have the bones in his right knee realigned during the first week of August in London, Ontario.
Detroit's long-time captain, Yzerman injured the knee last January and aggravated it at the Salt Lake City Olympics, where he won a gold medal with Canada. He missed 24 games during the season but appeared in all 23 playoffs games and ranked second in the NHL in scoring with six goals and 17 assists.
The 37-year-old Yzerman was sixth on the team in scoring during the regular season with 13 goals and 35 assists in 52 games.
Second-seed Kuerten ousted at Stuttgart
STUTTGART, Germany, July 18 (UPI) -- Two matches in one day was one too many for Gustavo Kuerten as the second seed from Brazil was ousted by Lars Burgsmuller of Germany, 7-6, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) on Thursday in the second round of the $500,000 Mercedes Cup tennis tournament.
Due to incessant rain, just four of 10 singles matches were completed Wednesday. One of the postponed matches involved
Kuerten, who came back Thursday morning and posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Austria's Stefan Koubek.
Alberto Martin also played a pair of matches Thursday due to Wednesday's rain, but the unseeded Spaniard had better results as he ousted seventh seed Rainer Schuettler of Germany, 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3 and kept up the pace with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Adrian Voinea in the second round.
Top seed Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic and third seed Guillermo Canas of Argentina were among those advancing to the third round Thursday. Novak coasted past Fernando Meligeni of Brazil, 6-0, 6-2 and Canas topped Felix Mantilla of Spain, 6-4, 6-3. Meligeni defeated Attila Savolt of Hungary, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, earlier Thursday.