It was the next 17 that turned into a problem.
"I just didn't have it," he said.
When Woods' workday was finally over he had labored to a first-round 2-over par 74, looking like a guy still coming off a five-month layoff. Instead of the instant form displayed earlier this month when making his return at the Masters, Woods' second step back into competitive golf was a mixed bag of good, bad and ugly that put him deep down the scoreboard.
There were four birdies, but also four bogeys and a double, resulting from a variety of pushes, pulls and water balls. He hit four of 14 fairways and found nine of 18 greens.
"It wasn't the driver, it was everything," he said. "I had a two-way miss going ... all day."
After completing play, Woods answered questions with short, quick responses. Notorious for returning to the practice range to immediately address any problems he may have experienced during a round, this time he just wanted to leave the golf course.
"I'm not going to the range today. Hell with it," he said with a soft chuckle.
It quickly became a day that tested Woods' recent vow to display more patience and self-control on the golf course.
"Quite a bit," he said. "I didn't hit the ball very good at all today. I had a two-way miss with everything today. Two balls in the water, and pretty much struggled all day."
Beginning play on the par-5 10th hole, Woods hit his third shot -- a 50-foot chip from green-side rough -- to 26 inches for a quick start, but was soon going backward.
"Yeah, it actually felt pretty good after that start," he said. "Fortunately my second hole I hit a quick hook, then the next hole I hit another hook off the tee, and I kind of stuck a couple in the ground after that, too."
On the par-3 17th, he dunked his tee shot left into a lake, and had to re-tee on the way to making double. At 18, he again went left, finding a stream that runs the length of the fairway on the way to making bogey.
He failed to make par on a third consecutive attempt when he bogeyed No. 1 after missing the fairway some 30 yards to the right. At that point, Woods was 4-over, but did rally slightly with birdies at Nos. 2, 5 and 8 before finishing with bogey on his final hole.
"Trying to piece together a round to keep myself in the tournament is pretty tough," he said.
Through it all, however, Woods was given polite and vocal support from an overflow gallery that followed his group. Extra security was added for the week, but there was never the slightest hint of an issue. It was all positive -- even if Woods admitted he really didn't hear the support.
"I'll tell you what, I would like to say yes," he said. "I was struggling so bad today, I didn't know which way I was going to go, whether I was going left or right. I didn't really hear much to be honest with you, I was struggling so bad out there. I was just trying to piece together a round to keep myself in the tournament."
He didn't hear anything?
"As I said, I had a lot of issues out there trying to figure out where my balls were going to go. I hit a bunch of balls left, I hit a bunch of balls right, hit a few down the middle, and that was about it."