Tiger Woods faces a tough task to make the halfway cut at the Farmers Insurance Open after marking his first PGA Tour start for 17 months with a four-over 76.
Playing the tougher South Course at Torrey Pines, where he is an eight-time winner including the 2008 US Open, Woods began with a bogey and then scrambled eight pars before birdies at 10 and 11 got him under the card.
But his wayward long-game cost him over the final third of his round as he followed three straight bogeys with an ugly double-bogey at the 15th, and he dropped another shot at 17 before signing off with a four at the par-five last.
The 41-year-old hit only four of 14 fairways and blocked a number of shots with woods and irons in hand, although his short-game looked sharp on the front nine and limited the damage to his scorecard.
His opening drive was blocked way right and cannoned off a tree, and that set the tone for his round aside from an encouraging run of four consecutive fairways hit from the fourth.
But Woods was unable to take advantage from the short grass as he missed a number of greens, again to the right, and he did well to get up-and-down for par at the second, fifth, seventh and eighth holes.
The 14-time major champion would have been relieved to get to the turn in 37, and he was soon celebrating his first birdie on the PGA Tour for 523 days when he converted a solid iron to 10 feet from the rough at the 10th.
Woods then made his best swing of the day at the par-three 11th as he knocked his tee shot to 10 feet and drained the chance, but he hacked from rough to more rough down the right side of the 12th fairway and could not avoid bogey.
He three-putted from 50 feet to run up a six at the long 13th, and he was unable to reach the green from the left rough at the next, before pitching to 15 feet and watching his par putt lip out.
Woods hit a woeful snap-hook over a fence at the 15th and was forced to take a penalty drop, blocking his third into further long grass, stabbing to 20 feet and taking two putts to get down.
After leaking five shots in four holes, Woods arrested the slide with a welcome par at 16 only to miss another fairway to the right at the next before gouging his second into a greenside bunker.
He splashed out to five feet but pushed the par putt, and his shoulders sagged further when he splayed his final drive of a tough day to the right again.
But after getting back in play with his lay-up, Woods lifted his spirits with a smooth eight-iron over the flag which spun back to six feet, and the putt found the centre of the cup to give him some momentum to take into Friday’s second round on the friendlier North Course.