Woods has not made the cut at the US Open for five years and not won the tournament since 2008, when he played a remarkable 19-hole play-off against Rocco Mediate with a serious knee injury.
But plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then with a well-publicised divorce after admitting several infidelities followed by multiple back surgeries and a trip to rehab to deal with a dependence on prescription painkillers.
However, after coming back in December, Woods appears relaxed and fit at long last, having come within one shot of a first win since his return to competitive golf at the Valspar Championship in March.
Can he go one better at the US Open? Follow every crucial moment of his first round right here.
Tiger Woods RECAP – round one of his US Open return
Tiger’s first round score: +8 through 17 holes
Hole 18 – par
Tiger finishes with four pars in a row. His drive finds the rough, eliminating any chances of making the green with his second.
A very nice pitch sees him two foot away and Tiger rolls it in with a par.
If you take the three bad holes away, that’s not a bad round. Of course the scorecard can’t do that and Woods finishes his first round of the 2018 US Open eight over.
Hole 17 – par
Tiger’s tee shot on the par three finds the green though he’s 40-foot from the hole. He gets it within a foot and it’s a tap in for par.
Hole 16 – par
That’s two pars in a row but Woods was mere millimetres from a birdie. A booming drive set the American up nicely though he found a bunker with his second. That didn’t stop Tiger leaving himself an eight footer which went just past the hole and Woods taps it in for a par.
Hole 15 – par
That’s better. Woods finds the rough with his drive but after finding the fairway with the second shot, he lands a wonderful chip to within a couple of feet of the hole. And that’s tapped in for par.
Hole 14 – double bogey
This is getting ugly. It’s back-to-back double bogeys as Woods falls to eight over. He tries to rescue a wide right tee shot and goes too far left. It’s a decent recovery to get him on the green to offer a bogey putt but Woods misses from around seven feet.
Hole 13 – double bogey
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. A safe approach shot leaves him 30 feet for birdie and the first putt is a very poor one, 12 feet short. He misses that one, and he’s missed the one back too. The lesser spotted four-putt. Awful.
Hole 12 – par
Just another inch! Birdies are like gold dust today and Tiger had a good look at that one, but it won’t quite drop. DJ meanwhile has dropped a shot there to come back to -2 but he’s still tied for the lead with Russell Henley.
Hole 11 – bogey
A run of five straight pars comes to an end at the 11th and not in a good way. Tee shot was just on the front edge, chip was a little fat and he couldn’t make the long-ish par putt.
Hole 10 – par
The ridiculous to the sublime from Tiger, who misses the fairway off the tee, leaves his second shot well short of the green and then plays a magnificent pitch up to the green and has four feet for par.
He’s then called for a rules official because his ball moved on the green but there is no penalty and he… JUST rolls it in.
Hole 9 – par
Tiger leaves himself 159 yards in and takes the safe option, finding the middle of the green.
He makes the two-putt with a four-footer to finish and after a triple at the first, reaching the turn at +3 is not a bad result.
Hole 8 – par
This is one of the wider fairways on the course which means a well-placed drive can offer angle to attack the flag – and Woods obliges. He has about 12 feet for birdie… which misses low. Not a great putt, if we’re honest.
Hole 7 – par
This is the notoriously difficult par three with a green that all goes away from you. Tiger finds the fringe, which is a pretty good result, and bunts a seven iron onto the green – they call that a Texas wedge round here – to make a painless par.
Hole 6 – par
Tiger finds the left half of the fairway off the tee and has a six iron left. He forces it into the wind and leaves himself about 20 feet for birdie.
But he can only two-putt for a par four.
Hole 5 – birdie
Tiger has the big stick out for the first par five of the day – and he finds the fairway, which is more than can be said for Justin Thomas, who has hit one a mile left. Really tried to get after that one and they may take a while finding that in the scrub.
Thomas does somehow make par after hacking out mostly sideways but Woods has played it much better and chips up to 10 feet to leave himself a makeable birdie putt, which he RATTLES into the back of the hole! Bit of confidence in that.
Hole 4 – par
This is a “second shot golf course” and Tiger, who was in the shorter rough off the tee, had to bark at his ball. The drive wasn’t wayward by much, but the ball was below his feet and it popped up out of the lie. He’s through the back with another tricky pitch – which he rolls to a foot. Makes another par. Not exactly on roll but he’s getting there!
Hole 3 – par
It is slowly getting better for Tiger. He makes a par four at the third hole to stop the rot. The fourth is one of the easier holes one the course too so that should be an opportunity to avoid more dropped shots.
Hole 2 – bogey
The par-three second is up next and Tiger goes two-iron, running through the green. He fails to get up-and-down despite a decent chip and that is another shot gone. Nightmare start for the three-time champ.
Hole 1 – triple-bogey
There we go. Tiger is off in his 20th US Open. It’s an iron off the tee, following DJ and Thomas who went for the same approach, and all three found the fairway.
A sigh of relief is collectively breathed.
It’s not a great approach to the green for any of them though: the two younger men have both found the front bunker and Tiger is over the back in a grassy hollow with a tricky chip back.
All he can do is hack it out of the rough, up to the edge of the green… and back down to him again. He does eventually get on the green but misses the putt – and that’s a triple-bogey for Woods at the first. His partners both make par with solid six-foot putts.