Tiger Woods birdied three of his last five holes Thursday to finish with a two-under-par 70 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament.
That’s a lot better than the two over Woods posted on the first day of the PGA Championship earlier this month. He ended up missing the cut at that tournament and hasn’t played in a PGA event since.
Even with such a solid start this week, however, Woods still has his work cut out for him in his pursuit of his record-tying 82nd PGA victory. He’s five shots behind early leader Ryan Moore, who finished his day at seven under. Jordan Spieth is right behind at six under, followed by 12 golfers within four shots of the lead.
Woods opened on the back nine by birdying his second hole but bogeyed his fourth. He shot par the rest of the way until birdying his 14th, 16th and 17th holes and bogeying his 15th.
“It was one of those days it could have easily flipped,” Woods said after his round. “It’s so soft out there and definitely gettable.”
Woods has won the Memorial five times, but not since 2012. This week’s event at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, will serve as his final tuneup before the U.S. Open, which starts June 13 at Pebble Beach. He will be going for his second major championship of the year, after winning the Masters in April, and 16th overall.