Rory McIlroy played his way into a share of third place at the Farmers Insurance Open as the Holywood native shot an impressive five under par in San Diego.
Making his first PGA Tour start of the year at Torrey Pines, McIlroy hit seven birdies in his opening round combined with a pair of bogeys to post 67 on the North Course.
Sebastian Cappelen grabbed holds the overnight lead while Tiger Woods gave a solid display in his first start of the year as he guns for a record-breaking 83rd PGA Tour victory.
The 29-year-old Dane got hot early, mixing five birdies and a bogey on the front nine and added three more birdies and one bogey on the back nine at Torrey Pines.
Cappelen was six-under par heading into his final hole, one stroke clear of six players including world number two and tournament favourite McIlroy.
But all the attention was on Woods, who was trailed by a large crowd as he made his way around the oceanside course on a sun-soaked day that saw parasailers floating by before cool, thick fog moved in during the afternoon.
Woods, playing alongside world number three Jon Rahm and promising newcomer Collin Morikawa, looked rusty at the outset and managed just an even par 36 through his first nine holes behind two birdies and two bogeys.
But he gained momentum and capped his day with a birdie for a round of three-under par 69, three off the pace.
"Overall I'm pleased to get something in the red," said Woods, who admitted that controlling his nerves was a challenge when he first teed off on Thursday.
"I was definitely feeling the adrenaline," he added. "I missed the competition and I was trying to keep everything as calm as a possibly could.
"I didn't do a very good job of that starting out, made a quick bogey early but felt like I fought back."
The 44-year-old American will move to the more challenging, recently renovated South Course on Friday as he tries to break Sam Snead's record of 82 PGA Tour victories.