By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- The last time Tiger Woods played in a tournament, he was barely able to pick his golf ball out of the hole.
Five days later the bigger problem for Woods was getting it in it.
Woods shot what he called a "decent" 3-under 68 Friday in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He had four birdies and one bogey but also failed to capitalize on a golf course ripe for scoring.
"Missed a few opportunities out there," he said. "The golf course is really receptive and certainly gettable."
He didn't have to look far to see that. Phil Mickelson, who was playing alongside Woods and Adam Scott, opened with a 63 that included seven birdies through the first nine holes.
Woods, meanwhile, hit just over half his fairways and 13 greens in regulation on the day but rarely put the ball close to the hole with only two approach shots inside 10 feet.
He made birdie both times he did, on Nos. 11 and 16.
"I didn't hit the ball as well I'd like to but I scored allright," Woods said. "I didn't give myself a lot of looks."
Even when he did, he didn't necessarily make them.
On Woods' third hole of the day, the par-4 12th, he hit his approach to 12 feet but missed the putt.
Seven holes later, he failed to convert another birdie attempt, the time from 8 feet on the par-5 18th. Woods had just one birdie on the three par 5s at TPC Boston.
He also finished the day with 28 putts.
As for his back, Woods declared it "all good" and showed no ill effects from spasms that less than a week ago sent him to his knees during the final round of The Barclays.
"It helped having that extra day off," Woods said. "It made a difference."