Phil Mickelson, approaching 48 and looking for glory in the twilight of his career; Rory McIlroy, 29 and cruising for additional hardware in the throes of his prime; and Jordan Spieth, at 24 enticing everyone with visions of a long, dominant future to follow his torrid start.
In 2015, Woods was battling back issues that led to two back surgeries later that year.
"Like a US Open should be", Masters champion Patrick Reed said after his 3-over effort.
Woods made a triple-bogey on the first hole, added two doubles on the back nine including a 4-putt green, had just a single birdie, and shot an 8-over-par 78 to finish nine strokes back of tournament co-leaders Dustin Johnson, Russell Henley, Ian Poulter and Scott Piercy. I just think today was the toughest day we'll have all week.
He was trending toward that number after a 4-putt green at the 13th hole and then wild misses off the tee and from the rough at the 14th.
Woods set the putter down behind his ball on the 10th green and then backed away when he noticed the movement.
Dustin Johnson entered the 2018 U.S. Open tournament with the strongest odds of taking home almost $2.2 million in winnings. Following a bogey on the sixth hole, Johnson hit his shot of the day, with a birdie out of the bunker on the eighth. Then I hit two bad putts on 1 and 2. I enjoy the fight.
A triple bogey 7, and another dropped shot on the 14th sends the WGC victor back to +4, tied for 70th but just five shots off the lead.
His advice for those not yet out on the course: "You can't miss it long, short, left or right".
"After that start, all I had to do was to try to shoot even par for the next 16 holes, and I'd be just fine". Woods and Mickelson are among 19 players who played in the last U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. He played even par the rest of the way and shot an 80 for his highest score in the US Open.
History doesn't matter if you can hit it like Dustin Johnson.
"I was anxious about running the (first) putt by, left it short, blocked the next one, then blocked it again", said Woods, who added another double at 14.
Tiger Woods benefited from a rule that doesn't penalize a player when his ball moves on the putting green accidentally, such as from the wind. The victor will earn $2.16 million, or 18% of the total, while the runner-up will receive $1.3 million.