NORTON, Mass. – Though much of the opening-day spotlight shined on playing companion Phil Mickelson, world No. 1 Tiger Woods remains in contention early at the Deutsche Bank Championship after opening with a 3-under 68.
Playing his first competitive round since a back injury caused him visible discomfort Sunday at The Barclays, Woods carded four birdies against a single bogey Friday at TPC Boston.
'Today was a decent day,' said Woods, who reached 13 of 18 greens in regulation during his opening round. 'I didn't hit the ball as well as I'd like to, but I scored all right.'
The effort left him tied for 20th upon signing his scorecard, five shots behind Mickelson who set the early pace with an 8-under 63. While 54 holes remain at a venue expected to yield low scores throughout the weekend, Woods felt as though he left shots on the course Friday.
'I don't think it was as good as I wanted today,' he said of his round, which included missed birdie putts from inside 8 feet at both Nos. 7 and 18. 'Missed a few opportunities out there. The golf course is really receptive and certainly gettable.'
Just five days removed from a round in which back spasms brought him to his knees at Liberty National, the current FedEx Cup points leader insisted that the injury was not an issue Friday in Boston.
'The back is fine, all good,' added Woods, who opted to hit balls on the driving range after the conclusion of his opening round. 'It helped having that extra day off. It made a difference.'