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Tiger in the hunt after opening 70 at Memorial Tournament

updated 5:57 PM EDT, Thu May 31, 2012
Former world No.1 Tiger Woods has won the Memorial Tournament on four previous occasions.
Former world No.1 Tiger Woods has won the Memorial Tournament on four previous occasions.
  • Tiger Woods cards an opening round two-under-par 70 at the Memorial Tournament
  • The 14-time major winner has won the event on four previous occasions
  • World No. 1 Luke Donald one shot further back after shooting a 71
  • Level with Donald is his compatriot and world No. 2 Rory McIlroy

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods carded a two-under-par opening round of 70 at the Memorial Tournament on Thursday to sit within striking distance of the early leaders.

The 14-time major winner has won the event on four previous occasions, and he showed signs of returning to form after finishing tied for 40th at the Players Championship three weeks ago.

"I think I was just consistent all day," the former world No. 1 told the PGA Tour's official website after a round which included four birdies.

"I didn't do anything great and I didn't do anything poorly, I was just very consistent. And I think with the golf course being the way it's set up, you just have to be that way."

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Woods' score could have been even better had he not dropped two strokes at the par-four 18th hole.

"I stuck it in the ground with the five-wood and hit it out to the right and tried to make sure I missed it left coming out of that bunker and overcooked that one," the 36-year-old said. "Then I got thrown off a little bit out of my rhythm."

But the world No.9 was encouraged by his performance and when he was asked if he was getting back to his best, he replied: "Absolutely."

Current world No. 1 Luke Donald, winner of the recent PGA Championship, finished the day one stroke off Woods after also double bogeying the final hole.

U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy managed to rescue his round to finish level with his fellow Briton Donald on one-under.

The world No. 2, who started his round on the 10th hole, quadruple bogeyed the par-three 12th after finding the water. But the 23-year-old battled back with four birdies and an eagle at the fifth.

McIlroy will be hoping for a successful weekend after missing the cut at his last two events -- the Players Championship and the PGA Championship.

The 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel carded a 73 to finish one over, with this year's Augusta champion Bubba Watson one shot further back.

Schwartzel's compatriot and world No. 14 Louis Oosthuizen was also two over after day one, with American Keegan Bradley four over.

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