Woods had some key par saves in the middle of the round then made two late birdies.
Tiger Woods saved par when he needed to, then cashed in when the opportunities presented themselves late in the round. It was a recipe for a solid two-under 70 to open the Memorial, putting him in fine position to chase an all-time record-tying 82nd PGA Tour victory at Jack Nicklaus' tournament.
"I feel like I could have gotten a few more out of it," Woods said. "It's so soft out there. It's gettable. You look at the scores out there, guys are doing it."
Woods, playing in a "supergroup" alongside defending champion Bryson DeChambeau and world No. 3 Justin Rose, began his round on the back nine and didn't have to wait long to get into red numbers. He birdied the par-5 11th to get to one under but gave it back at 13, then made nine straight pars that included a number of solid up-and-downs.
Woods took advantage of both par 5s on the back nine. On 5, he hit a glorious long iron onto the green then two-putted, while he needed a nifty bunker shot from a short-sided miss and a six-foot putt to make his 4 on 7.
He kept the momentum going with an 8-iron to four feet on 8, which he also poured right in the center.
Woods is making his first start since missing the cut at the PGA Championship, where he was noticeably short on energy. He looked much more lively on Thursday—the pep in his step that helped him win the Masters was back, and he looked very comfortable with both his swing an his putting stroke.
Woods is a five-time winner of the Memorial Tournament, most recently winning at Muirfield Village in 2012.