DUBLIN, Ohio -- Without doing much, Tiger Woods managed to do enough Thursday during the first round of the Memorial Tournament to shoot under par and stay in touch with leader Ryan Moore, while giving himself something to build on.
Playing just his second tournament since winning the Masters but coming off a missed cut at the PGA Championship, Woods made three late birdies to shoot 2-under-par 70 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.
"It was close to being easily a few more under par,'' said Woods, who has won the Memorial five times but hasn't opened the tournament with a score in the 70s in 10 years. "It was soft enough; it was gettable. And I just didn't quite do it. I had a couple loose irons. But look at the scores; they're getting after it today. I was close to be out there with them.''
Moore birdied four straight holes in his opening nine holes on his way to a 7-under-par 65, and Jordan Spieth briefly tied him before settling for a 66 -- a fourth consecutive tournament with a first-round score under par.
Woods seemingly had more energy than two weeks ago at the PGA Championship, where he missed practice time due to an illness and then struggled for two rounds. He ended up missing the 36-hole cut by a stroke.
He hit 11 of 14 fairways but just 10 of 18 greens, needing to scramble for par several times. Starting on the back nine, he birdied the par-5 11th hole, missed the green at the 13th, leading to a bogey, then had three birdies and a bogey over his final five holes.
"I'm definitely feeling a lot better, and I'm hitting the ball a little bit better,'' Woods said. "I just need to not make a couple loose mistakes like I did today, and it could have easily turned and shot 5- or 6-under par.''
This is Woods' final tournament before the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, which begins June 13.