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Woods in contention after birdie fight back

  • Story Highlights
  • Tiger Woods bidding for first victory of his comeback after nine-month layoff
  • The world number one is in danger of losing his top ranking to Phil Mickelson
  • Golfing legend Seve Ballesteros is to undergo a fourth round of chemotherapy
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(CNN) -- Five-time tournament winner Tiger Woods shrugged off an early double bogey to be three off the lead after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Tiger tees off on the 15th at Bay Hill as he bids for a sixth win at the tournament.

Tiger tees off on the 15th at Bay Hill as he bids for a sixth win at the tournament.

Woods, playing the third event of his comeback, found water off the tee on the par-five sixth and ran up a seven, but he fought back in typical style with four straight birdies from the 10th to stay in contention with a two-under 68.

The world number one was not satisfied with his overall play but found solace in his improved putting, making eight consecutive single putts.

"I was not hitting it well, and I had to scramble and grind it out and manage to score," he told the official PGA Tour Web site

"I made a nice putt at nine, which is like making a birdie, so I kept the momentum going."

Journeyman Jason Gore is the early leader with a five-under 65 while fellow- Americans Tim Herron and Jeff Overton both shot 66s.

Nick Watney, who is a regular contender this season, is on 67 with Mark Wilson, who played in the same group as Woods and Padraig Harrington.

Ireland's Harrington, who will be bidding for his third major in a row at the U.S. Masters next month, saved par from the water on the last for a level par 70.

Meanwhile, former two-time Masters winner Seve Ballesteros has announced he will have a fourth round of chemotherapy following the brain surgery he underwent last year to remove a brain tumor.

The 51-year-old Spanish golfing legend told his personal Web site that his "spirits are still high" as he awaits further treatment.

Ballesteros had four complex operations in a Madrid hospital after the cancer was discovered last October in a battle against illness which he described as the "hardest of my life."

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