Tiger Woods on the 12th hole of the P.G.A. Championship.

Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. — Tiger Woods got off to a poor start in the first round of the P.G.A. Championship at Bellerive Country Club, but rallied in midround. Through 16 holes, Woods was 1-over, six strokes off the lead..

The early leader was Rickie Fowler at 5-under through 17 holes, two strokes ahead of his nearest rival. Fowler, 29, has finished second at three majors but has yet to win one.

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Woods, who has been playing as well as he has in years in recent weeks, was considered to be a contender in the event after a promising British Open last month.

He started on the 10th hole and bogeyed it, after a trip to deep rough off the tee. He found rough again on 11, leading to a double bogey, and he was three over after just two holes.

A birdie on 12 was canceled by a bogey on 16. A strong approach to 4 feet on 18 got him another birdie, and his nine-hole score of plus-2.

He moved to 1-over with a 10-foot putt on the first hole.

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