Tiger Woods admitted he was “probably a bit rusty” after marking his return to PGA Tour action after a 12-month absence with a level-par 72 at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego.
On a day when Russell Knox maintained his recent good form by carding a 69 to sit joint-15th, Woods was two-over after five before coming home in one-under 35 at Torrey Pines.
The 14-time major winner, who is playing in just his second event since returning at the end of last year in the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, is sitting in a share of 84th spot.
On a course where he has won eight times, Woods started with a bogey after missing a tricky putt to save par.
He dropped another shot at the par-4 fifth but birdied the next hole and picked up another two gains either side of a bogey after the turn.
The former world No 1 told the PGA Tour website it was “fun to compete again” but admitted he was “probably a little bit rusty”.
His best shot of the day almost earned him a hole-in-one at the 16th and he said of that: “It was just a full six-iron.
“I just had to throw it up in the air as high as I could. It felt good, it looked good and then we were just listening for some noise.”
Asked what adjustments he would need to make for round two, he added: “I’ve got to hit my irons a little better than I did today.
“I didn’t hit them very close, didn’t give myself a lot of looks. It’s hard to make a lot of birdies when you’re not giving yourself any looks and I didn’t do that today.
“So tomorrow hopefully I’ll drive better and hit irons a lot closer and we’ve got the better of the two greens tomorrow so we’ll see what happens.”
Woods withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic just under a year ago and remained sidelined for the rest of 2017 as he recovered from spinal fusion surgery.
Knox signed for birdies to sit just four shots off the lead, held by Tony Finau, while defending champion and new world No 2 Jon Rahm is also well placed after a 68.