Playing for the second time since the death of his father in May, Tiger Woods opened with a 1-over 72 on Thursday and is tied for 82nd place.
'I know what I'm doing wrong, I'm just having a hard time stopping it,' said Woods, who missed the U.S. Open cut three weeks ago at 12 over par.
Woods went birdie-bogey at the fifth and sixth holes, then bogeyed consecutive holes from the 14th. His last bogey at the par-5 15th came with a penalty, and he was 2 over before rolling in a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole.
Asked if he was working on a swing adjustment, Woods responded, 'Yeah. I know what it is, I just have a hard time doing it in competition. Welcome to golf.'
In addition to winning this event in 1997, 1999 and 2003, Woods finished runner-up to Jim Furyk last year. He has won more than $2.4 million here -- a Western Open record.
It might be just the tournament to get his game back on track.
'I always feel good playing here,' Woods said. 'Even if I'm swinging the club great or I'm swinging the club poor, I always love playing this course.'
Also competing for the first time since the U.S. Open, Mickelson put together an up-and-down round that concluded with an eagle at his final hole, the par-5 ninth at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club's Dubsdread Course.
Of course, it was three weeks ago at Winged Foot where a disastrous double-bogey at the 72nd hole cost Mickelson his first U.S. Open title.
From 275 yards out on Thursday, he knocked his second shot at the ninth within 4 1/2 feet to set up the eagle -- rolling the ball past the hole and narrowly missing a rare double-eagle.
'Obviously to make an eagle required some luck,' Mickelson admitted. 'I was just trying to get on the green and the ball ended up rolling by the pin. But it's fun to finish a round of golf like that.'
Mickelson admitted to feeling more 'tuned in' to his golf game this past week. Preparing for the British Open in two weeks, he has been to Royal Liverpool to check out the course and work on some shots.
It's the same type of preparation he completed over a year's time for the U.S. Open -- preparation that paid off until the final hole.
Thursday, Mickelson began his round with a pair of bogeys, then didn't bogey another hole until the par-3 sixth -- his 15th hole. In between he collected five birdies, including three straight from the third.
It was the type of stretch he's been looking for since winning his second Masters title in April.
'I didn't feel like I played very well a couple of weeks ago,' Mickelson said. 'I haven't really struck it the way I wanted to since the Masters...But it was a fun round today.'
Charles Warren, Stephen Leaney and 2000 champion Robert Allenby joined Mickelson, Singh and Love in fifth place at 4-under-par 67. Behind them, a group of 10 players share 11th place at minus-3, including 2004 winner Stephen Ames.
In all, 37 players are within three shots of the four leaders after the first day. Defending champion Furyk opened with a 2-under 69 to share 21st place with 20 others.
Among the leaders, only two have ever made the cut at the Western Open (Glover and Ogilvie) and just one has a top-10 finish (Ogilvie, T9 1999). The four-way tie was the biggest logjam atop the Western Open leaderboard in 12 years.