Waite now hopes to write a little bit of history himself. The 2000 runner-up fired a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 to take the first-round lead in Markham, Ontario.
Waite leads 1998 champion Billy Andrade, Greg Chalmers, Per-Ulrik Johansson and Neal Lancaster by two shots.
Vijay Singh heads a group of four at 5-under.
Canadians Mike Weir and Ian Leggatt are tied at minus 3. There hasn't been a Canadian-born winner of this event since Pat Fletcher in 1954.
Weir has missed the cut in seven of nine Open appearances.
'All you're doing in the first round is giving yourself a good start,' he said. 'If I get into another good rhythm tomorrow, I'll have a chance to be there on the weekend.'
Two years ago at Glen Abbey, Waite trailed Woods by one stroke entering the 72nd hole. On the green in two at the par-5 18th, Waite waited and watched as Woods hit a 6-iron from 216 yards out of a fairway bunker, over the water and 10 feet behind the flag.
Both men made birdie, and Tiger won by one.
Last year at Royal Montreal, Waite endured an even more depressing fate as he overslept Thursday, then was stuck in traffic and missed by six minutes his 7:29 AM tee time. Players are assessed a two-stroke penalty for showing within five minutes of their tee time. Any longer is an automatic disqualification.
'It would be nice to win in Canada because I've played well at times,' said Waite, who added he doesn't expect to miss his 8:42 AM tee time Friday.
'I've got three alarm clocks,' he said. 'I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I think I can get one of them to work.'
Waite has one career PGA Tour victory ' the 1993 Kemper Open ' but has yet to record a top-10 finish this season. He is mired in 162nd place on the money list.
Thursday, he made five birdie putts inside of 15 feet at Angus Glen, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation along the way.
Full-field scores from the Bell Canadian Open