All eyes were on Tiger Woods at Royal Liverpool as the Open Championship teed off on Thursday.
Pain-free in his return from back surgery, Woods -- playing in his first major championship of the season and just his third competitive round since March -- got off to a bumpy, bogey-bogey start at the course he overpowered in 2006 when he won the Open for a third time.
It didn't look good early on for the man trying to snag major victory No. 15 and his first since the 2008 U.S. Open.
But, he quickly settled in and finished with a stellar 3-under 69 that left him two shots behind early clubhouse leader Matteo Manassero.
Woods birdied the fifth hole and rattled off four pars for an outward-nine of 1-over 36. Then he really got hot on Royal Liverpool's more scoring-friendly second nine.
After a par on the par-5 10th hole, Woods rattled off three consecutive birdies, bogeyed No. 14 and then bounced back with birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 -- he nearly chipped in for eagle on the par-5 16th.
Woods closed out the round with par on the par-5 18th hole that was set up by a spectacular shot from a greenside bunker.
All in all, a solid start for Woods.