Tiger Woods at Arnold Palmer

"You guys are asking different questions from when I first came back and it wasn't that long ago, it was two months ago and the narrative has completely flipped", Woods said. It is the four back surgeries that he has endured since a five-victory season in 2013. "Nice to get back".

The temperature had warmed considerably by the time Paul Goydos began play as part of the first afternoon threesome off No. 10.

Teeing off the 10th, Woods put on a ball-striking clinic on his front nine - hitting seven of the first nine greens in regulation and four of seven fairways from the tee to jag three birdies.

Woods has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open, but he has won four times at Augusta National, where he will tee off in three weeks seeking another major crown.

"I hit some attractive shots out there today and I was rolling it really good too", Stenson told Sky Sports.

"But I understand this golf course". He was the best at that.

The former world number one had seen his incredible career descend into a near farce as personal issues, as well as injury after injury (after injury), forced Woods into taking a step back from the game he so loves.

Stenson, who missed the cut last week after playing alongside Woods, fired nine birdies and a solitary bogey in his 64, with seven of the birdies coming in an eight-hole stretch from the ninth.

Woods' drive was well off the mark, and by the time he recovered, he recorded a double-bogey six that knocked him down the leaderboard.

Reed, a five-time tour victor, said he would love to be paired with Woods in a late group on Sunday. "I've still got to go through the process of getting myself in position".

"A lot of people are excited about how Tiger's starting to show signs in the right direction, and I think it's going to be a lot of fun over the next two days". "Tiger was that intimidating".

"Patrick Reed would not be wearing a red shirt if Tiger were healthy because he wouldn't win a tournament", he said then.

  • Anthony Vega