Peterson's 2 eagles carries him to lead at Quail Hollow

Woods joins now fellow Augusta National champion, Patrick Reed teeing-up both for a first occasion since last month's Masters at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Making it more disappointing was Woods rolled down Magnolia Lane coming off his two best finishes in years - a tie for second in the Valspar Championship and a tie for fifth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

On the other end of the spectrum is Phil Mickelson who has played this tournament 14 times without a single victory.

Woods said he's confident he will hit his irons better because he has a new set of them in his bag.

He appears to be struggling to adjust to slow greens. "They feel springy and they feel fast especially as I am walking on them, but they are not putting that way", Woods said with a smile as he shook his head in confusion.

"If I just make a few putts, I shoot 2 under, 3 under, but I just didn't make anything".

The most painful, perhaps, came on a par-4 14th hole when Woods lipped out a 6-footer for birdie. "There's just a lot of good golf fans out there", Mitchell said. "I struggled making the adjustments today". 'I really struggled getting the pace right. "This is a very unusual combo to have-firm, but a bit on the slower side".

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His return would be a huge welcome for Golden State, which showed some vulnerabilities in his absence. Two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Steph Curry may play restricted minutes starting Tuesday.

Woods' first hiccup came on the par-3 4th, a gimmicky green that he would three-putt.

"Ball-striking is always hard, because obviously the distance covered", he said. "I've always been a pretty good putter all of my career, so that's something I've never really anxious too much about". "I've never had consecutive eagles before".

Woods returned in Charlotte after a standard post-Masters recess and played nine holes on Tuesday with Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau and Dru Love ahead of this week's Wells Fargo Championship.

Woods will play the opening two rounds of the $US 7.2m alongside Reed and reigning U.S. Open victor, Brooks Koepka.

"Most of the golf courses I've played have been really hard setups, whether it's Torrey, LA., Honda, no one went low". He didn't have to punch out or lay up on any of the par 4s and found himself in a lot of fairway bunkers. He lamented the speed of the greens and how they played at length after he finished, just reiterating what he needed to work on. "There's going to be probably, I'm guessing, 15 guys or so with a chance on Sunday".

McIlroy said that his ideal golf course would be designed with trees to line out the fairways, and that's why Quail Hollow has fared him well in his career.

  • Regina Holmes