By Drew Olson Special to Published Aug 13, 2010 at 1:10 AM

HAVEN, Wis. -- As shocking as it was to see Tiger Woods hack his way to a brutal, career-worst 18-over-par finish last week at the Bridgestone Invitational, it was equally stunning to see what happened in the first round of the PGA Championship Friday at Whistling Straits.

Woods played well. And, he had people cheering for him.

On a day that featured a three-hour fog delay and finished with 78 competitors still on the course as darkness fell, Woods worked his way around in 1-under-par 71.

"I played too good not to shoot under par," said Woods, who trails co-leaders Bubba Watson of Florida and Italy's Francesco Molinari by three shots. "It would have been very disappointing and frustrating to end up at even par as well as I played today, and that's a good feeling."

Woods birdied three of his first four holes to get the crowd on his side early, hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation and capped his day with a birdie on his final hole, No. 9. But, he missed a few putts that could have left him with a score of close to 5-under.

"Perhaps we're seeing the beginning of all of the chaos of golf being eliminated," TNT analyst Peter Kostis said. "(It's) an order being restored if Tiger can keep up his form."

The completion of the first round is slated for 7 a.m. Friday, with the second round slated to start at 8:30 a.m.

"Hopefully, the fog won't get us," said Wisconsin native Steve Stricker, who will take a 1-under score into his 14th hole when play resumes. "It could happen again. Hopefully, we can get out there and the weather will be good."

Some notes from day one:

Hometown hero: Stricker was asked before play began if Whistling Straits feels like "home."

"I'm staying about 25 minutes away, and all I see is corn, soybeans and cows," he said. "But when I get here it doesn't feel like home at all. When you look out over the course it looks like we're overseas somewhere playing in a British Open.

"So it's funny, I feel at home but yet when I get out on the course I don't. And it's a little bit different style than what we're accustomed to, hopefully I've got all the lines down that I need and I know I do, I have the spots where I need to hit it, especially off the tee.

"The grasses are a little bit different than what we normally play on, we're playing out of some fescue grasses here that we normally play on like over in a British Open. So it's all a little bit different. But the fans are here and reminding me where I'm at and it's been a lot of fun these last couple of days."

Great setting: During the fog delay, Kohler CEO Herbert Kohler and course designer Pete Dye met with the media in a relaxed setting, both basking in the glow of a course that many are calling one of the best in the U.S.

TNT analyst Ian Baker-Finch talked about Dye's penchant for creating difficult sightlines.

"That's Pete Dye, that's what he tries to be, visually intimidating," Baker-Finch said. "He doesn't want the players to see all the fairway, he wants to mess with their minds. This is Pete Dye's best, that's for sure."

NOTEBOOK: Tim Thelen, a PGA Club Professional from College Station, Texas, was 2-under par through 16 holes and tied for 12th as play was suspended. "I just play golf," he said. "This job is fun to me. If I would have shot 82 today, I wouldn't go home and pout." ... Australia's Jason Day shot 69 in just his second major. Day, battling a sinus infection, said he guzzled nearly a dozen water bottles to combat the oppressive heat and humidity ... Defending champion Y.E. Yang made four birdies and four pars en route to his 72 ... First place at this tournament will be worth $1.35 million. The total purse is $7.5 million.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.