Woods added: "The fact that I challenged at Valspar earlier this year was a bit shocking considering I didn't know how much I'd play this year". That round today was easily six, seven under par.
But 42-year-old Woods bounced back with a birdie at the par-5 ninth and is confident of shooting more hot scores on day two, when tee times will be brought forward due to thunderstorms. I think with the way the conditions are, especially with the rain that's forecast, I can't see the scoring being any different.
He was one over through 8 before birdieing two of the next three holes to get to one under for the day and nine under for the tournament.
Tiger said: "I hit it just as good and putted it just as good". One day Tiger will put together four days of good play and win a tournament, but probably not this weekend.
"Got off to a better start than I have most of the season".
At last week's Dell Technologies Championship, Woods said he had "turned a corner" with his ball-striking in recent weeks. He then birdied No. 1 to get to 7-under, and narrowly missed a pair of birdie putts on the next two holes.
The Swede tamed the blustery conditions at Lighthouse Golf and Spa Resort, carding a five-under 66 to lead by a shot from Peter Baker and former Irish Open champion Stephen Dodd.
His form had since tailed off and he acknowledged that long-hitting Tony Finau, who also had top-10s at the USA and British Opens, was in pole position to grab the coveted spot.
But a wayward drive at the next found a fairway bunker and left him unable to reach the green in two, a mistake that led to only his second bogey of the tournament, and he responded with back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17 as he claimed the clubhouse lead on 13 under.
Hideki Matsuyama shot a 6-under 64 to land three shots off the pace in a four-way tie for third.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy was on track to better his Ryder Cup rival's round - at one point even looking likely to shoot sub-60 with a career-best six consecutive birdies - but back-to-back bogeys on the back nine scuppered his chance. "It was nice to post a good round today and we go off early tomorrow, so it'll be a quick turnaround". "And I didn't capitalize".
And while DeChambeau admits to being a "little tired", he is eager to take on the Aronimink Golf Club course which played host to the 1962 PGA Championship and more-recently the PGA Tour's 2010 and 2011 AT & T National.