WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play began Wednesday, and Tiger Woods hit the links at Austin Country Club in Texas to participate in the tournament for the first time since 2013.
Woods started his event against Austin Wise on Wednesday afternoon, and the 43-year-old was mostly in the driver's seat against the 2018 PGA Rookie of the Year.
Wise went one-up on the 10th hole, but Woods immediately evened at 11 and poured it on by winning holes 13 and 15 to take a two-up lead. He claimed a 3 and 1 win over Wise on the 17th hole after his opponent's three-putt.
Immediately following his first-round win, Woods explained to Golf Channel's Steve Sands how he felt returning to the WGC-Dell Match Play format:
"I've played a lot of different matches over the years, and this is definitely one of the more emotional matches. We just kept—I don't know how many holes were halved, but there weren't many. ... It was just a lot of ebb and flow with this match. It wasn't like we were both playing great golf. Somehow, I came out with the win."
To Woods' point about playing sub-par golf, PGATour.com's Mike McAllister noted he didn't win a hole with any of his four birdies, claimed six holes with pars and earned another with a bogey.
Patrick Cantlay and Brandt Snedeker round out Woods' group, and he'll have a chance to clean things up when he tees off against the latter Thursday. You can view the full group-stage schedule at the PGA Tour's official website.
While Woods last appeared in WGC-Dell Match Play seven years ago, he hasn't advanced out of the Sweet 16 since 2008. He has won this tournament three times in his career, and this year's event will serve as his final warm-up before the Masters on April 11.