San Martin, California: Tiger Woods' return from a two-month layoff got off to a lackluster start on Thursday as the former world number one fired a two-over par 73 in the first round of the Frys.com Open.
The 14-time major champion had to battle in the rainy, chilly weather at the par-71 CordeValle Golf Club, finally reaching the clubhouse six shots off the the early first-round lead of 67 which was shared by four players.
Woods, chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won any event in almost two years, since the revelation of a secret sex life that led to divorce and shattered his iconic image.
Woods has battled left knee and tendon injuries suffered at the Masters in April, where his share of fourth place was his best showing in eight previous starts this year.
He hadn't played since missing the cut in the PGA Championship in August.
Woods opened promisingly with a birdie at the first, but that was followed by back-to-back bogeys.
His card also included a double-bogey seven at the 605-yard, par-five 12th.
He added one more birdie, at the par-five 15th, but couldn't build any real momentum.
Woods hit just 7 of 14 fairways but said his biggest problem was with his putter.
"It was probably one of the worst putting rounds I've ever had," Woods said.
Brendan Steele, Briny Baird, Garrett Willis and Matt Bettencourt shared the clubhouse lead on four-under par 67.
Australians Matt Jones and Steven Bowditch carded 68s, along with American Troy Matteson.