It was far from flawless, but Tiger Woods got the start he wanted Thursday in the opening round of the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Resort in Kiawah Island, S.C.
Woods hit only 10 of 18 greens in regulation, but used 22 putts to post a 3-under-par 69, the first time he has broken 70 in the tournament since the first round in 2009.
Tiger is tied for 14th, three strokes behind Carl Pettersson.
"I played well today, and anything in the 60s is going to be a good start in a major championship, and I'm right there," Woods said.
A four-time winner of the event, Tiger carded six birdies and three bogeys, one-putting 12 greens.
"I made a few adjustments last Friday night (at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), putted well on the weekend and felt like I hit a lot of good putts," he said. "Started the ball on my start lines again, and I think I made six putts over 20 feet out there, which is good. Came here with the same thoughts, same feels, and I made a few today."
An early back-nine starter with Keegan Bradley and Martin Kaymer, Woods took advantage of the warm, surprisingly calm conditions to play the first side in 1-under 35.
After parring Nos. 10 and 11, he birdied the 412-yard, par-4 12th, then sustained back-to-back bogeys at the 497-yard, par-4 13th hole -- ranked second-toughest on the course -- and the 238-yard, par-3 14th, ranked the toughest.
Tiger regained a stroke at the 444-yard, par-4 15th, then followed with two pars. He closed out the back nine with a big birdie at the difficult, 501-yard, par-4 18th hole to build some momentum for the front side.
Woods birdied the 396-yard, par-4 first hole, then made it three in a row with another birdie at the 557-yard, par-5 second, getting up and down from a left greenside bunker thanks to a 15-foot putt.
After parring the third hole, Tiger dropped a shot at the 458-yard, par-4 fourth hole, where he pulled his drive into a hazard on the left. He steadied with three consecutive pars, then birdied the 198-yard, par-3 eighth hole. Woods made a nice scrambling par at the 494-yard, par-4 ninth hole, getting up and down from a poor lie near the green.
"The shot itself was nasty, as in nasty good," he said.
Following the round, Tiger headed to the practice range to work with instructor Sean Foley. Overall, Woods drove the ball well, hitting nine of 14 fairways, and was especially sharp with his irons on the par-3s. However, he was only 1-under on the four par-5s.
"Just going to clean a few things up," Tiger said. "I know what to do and just need to do it."
Woods is scheduled to begin his second round Friday off the first tee at 1:40 p.m. ET with Bradley and Kaymer.