Woods skipped his 6:45 a.m. ET tee time with Notah Begay Wednesday, and then failed to appear for his 11:00 a.m. press conference.
Food poisoning was the suspected culprit.
Woods finally arrived at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, OH around 2:15 p.m. and headed directly from the parking lot to the 1st tee.
It didnt take long for word of his arrival to spread. By the 2nd hole, thousands of fans were in pursuit.
Tiger strolled down the first fairway rubbing his stomach. He played two holes before traversing back to the 9th.
A confused crowd stopped dead in their tracks and, in a near panic, chased him to the 9th tee box. You could almost feel the gravitational shift.
Woods completed the hole and then made a beeline for the parking lot. He is expected to play in Thursdays first round alongside Nick Price at 12:40 p.m.
Tiger arrived on site from his home in Orlando Tuesday afternoon. He had lunch with fellow Ryder Cupper Paul Azinger and then practiced on the range for a little over an hour.
Woods is in search of his third consecutive NEC title. He accomplished that feat earlier in the year at the Memorial Tournament, but has since failed to post a top-10 in five starts.
Last week, Woods tried to three-peat at the PGA Championship, but finished in a tie for 29th.
Woods won last years NEC Invitational by an astounding 11 shots over Phillip Price and Justin Leonard.
He edged Phil Mickelson by a single stroke in 1999.