Two early birdies -- followed by a bogey on No. 6 -- put Watson at 1-under and tied for fifth place. Earlier in the week, he talked about the difficulty of trying to capture back-to-back titles.
"Even a year later, you're excited about your win," he said. "Sometimes you get away from your routine or you just use your energy in a different way."
On a day when former champions Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player served as honorary starters, veteran Tom Watson turned back the clock with a score of 1-under through 12 holes.