While the 6ft-5in (1.95m) Swede was inching his way to the top of
the leaderboard alongside Spain's Sergio Garcia and American Rickie
Fowler, who had both played eight holes, 14-times major champion
Tiger Woods was treading water on the opening day.
Woods, featuring in only his third competitive round after
undergoing back surgery in March, dropped a stroke at the first hole
after finding a greenside bunker with his approach.
The former world number one also bogeyed the second but he made
partial amends by rolling in an eight-foot putt for his first birdie
of the championship at the fifth.
Interest in Woods was running high with American television network
ESPN devoting the whole of its ESPN3 digital channel to coverage of
There was little sign of the fireworks to follow for Karlsson when
he limped to the turn in 36, one over par, on a day of light winds
on the Wirral.
European's money-list winner in 2008 then suddenly turned on the
turbo-charger on the homeward journey, picking up four birdies in
seven holes from the 10th.
Karlsson, who missed the cut on the last two occasions he competed
in the third major of the season, would have led on his own but a
long-range birdie putt at the 18th lipped out.
Among the early starters making good progress were former world
number one Rory McIlroy, who was two under after five holes, and
U.S. Ryder Cup stalwart Jim Furyk, who was on the same mark through
[to top of second column]
Englishman David Howell, playing with Karlsson and 2001 champion
David Duval in the day's first match, enjoyed the honor of striking
the first shot of the tournament.
Howell bogeyed the opening hole and went on to card a level-par 72,
one better than American Duval.
Title holder Phil Mickelson launches his campaign at 2:05 p.m. local
time (1305 GMT) in a three-ball with twice former winner Ernie Els
and U.S. Masters champion Bubba Watson.
(Editing by John O'Brien)
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