If Tiger Woods had drawn up a way to get off to a hot start, it probably didn't involve having to re-tee on the first hole of the 2013 British Open.
Woods hit a pull-hook that ended up so far left of the first fairway that he was forced to hit a provisional, eventually taking an unplayable lie drop with his first ball and making a very good bogey. That was where the jitters seemed to end, and Woods put together one of the best afternoon rounds of anybody in the field, posting a 2-under 69 to land in the top-10 after the first round at Muirfield.
There were plenty of questions on how Woods would fare at Muirfield considering his recent injury and time away from the game after the U.S. Open, but despite a few bad swings off the tee, mostly with fairway woods, it was a businesslike round for Tiger, who flushed his irons all day long and made some very tricky putts look easy.
That said, he still had to deal with the beast that is Muirfield. On the par-4 14th hole, Tiger putted his ball off the back of the green, having to make a tricky six-footer for bogey to save himself from four-putting.
He hit 10 of 14 fairways on day one, never pulling out his new Nike Covert driver once, sticking to a game plan of iron after iron off the tee to try and keep the ball in play and in control.
Now comes what has to be said about the 2013 version of Tiger. We've seen him play well to start major championships in the last couple of years, especially at this tournament. A year ago at Lytham it was consecutive rounds of 67 to open his British campaign that got us all excited before struggling on the weekend, a common theme of late with Woods at the big four.
This was a solid opening round and exactly what he needed considering he was one of the afternoon guys that had to deal with a bit more wind on these firm and fast greens. Friday will give him a chance to attack Muirfield in the morning, but it will still be the weekend that we have to wait and see if Tiger can hold it together and step his game up a notch.