Tiger Woods shot his lowest score in 16 months, a four-under-par 66 that left him four strokes behind leader Scott Langley after the opening round of the Greenbrier Classic.
Though conditions were relatively easy on Greenbrier's rain-softened Old White Course, the round was a welcome reprieve for Woods, whose shocking slump over the past year raised questions of whether he ever again would be competitive.
Two weeks before the British Open at St. Andrews, where he has won twice, the 39-year-old former world number one declared he was "very close" to hitting top form.
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"People think I'm crazy when I say I'm close but I felt like I was close," Woods told PGATour.com after a round that included seven birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
"This past week was a good week (of practice) and today I hit the ball well all day until a couple of tee shots at the end, tugged a couple."
It might be dangerous to read too much into one good round, as it has been less than four weeks since Woods shot the worst score of his career, an 85 at the Memorial tournament in Ohio, and then missed the cut at the US Open.
While Woods understandably grabbed the limelight, American Scott Langley compiled eight-under 62 for a one-stroke lead over compatriot Jonathan Byrd and New Zealand's Danny Lee.