CHIBA, Japan – Day 1 at the Zozo Championship that began with three consecutive bogeys to start the round followed by nine birdies for a share of the lead at the first event of the 2020 season.

To put this in context for Tiger, this was the first time in over a decade Tiger has signed for lead after 18 holes of play.

“I certainly was not expecting to shoot 6 under par after that start,” Woods stated. “That was a very ugly start and to be able to flip it like that, I felt that if I could get to under par for the day, I figure most of the guys would be about 2, 3 under par with the wind blowing as hard as it was today and I wouldn’t be that far behind.”

It was the first time since 2013 that he started his season with a round in the 60s, the lowest round by two shots for Woods in a season debut.

“This is how I’ve been hitting it at home, so that wasn’t a real big surprise. It’s a matter of with a scorecard in your hand, you’ve got to post a number now,” Woods said. “It’s actually time to grind out a score.”

Perhaps this was to be anticipated following another offseason surgery to mend an ongoing ailment that, at least in retrospect, had started to impact every aspect of his game. Woods revealed this week that he’d initially planned to have knee surgery last December but held off following his victory at the 2018 Tour Championship.

“I was trying to make compensations,” he said on Thursday. “Unfortunately, with the lack of movement that I had in my knee, my back took it and that’s the last place I want to feel it.”

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