Tiger Woods is back, and he's going to win all the majors forever.
That seems to be the consensus reaction to Woods' opening 4-under 66 to kick off The Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia on Thursday. Woods' round at the Old White TPC concluded with three consecutive birdies, offsetting a disappointing, flashback-inducing double bogey on the par-4 sixth, his 15th hole of the day.
Woods came out of the gate on the 10th hole looking like a player in control of his game and a guy that owns his swing. Aside from a drive -- albeit, a fairly straight, 300-yard one -- that ended up in a water hazard on the par-5 17th, Woods was a fairway-hitting machine, hitting 10 of 14 fairways. That 71.4 percent mark is substantially better than his season-long average of right around a coin flip. He gave himself a lot of birdie chances, too, hitting 14 greens in regulation. The putter, which hasn't been much of a low-light in 2015, was working as Woods gained almost three full shots on the field with the flatstick.
All in all, it was a solid performance on a course that Woods -- well, the Woods we know and remember at his best -- should destroy. The Old White TPC is one of the easier par-70 courses on the PGA Tour, and Woods knew going into the tournament that he'd have to make a lot of birdies to be in the conversation.
"We're just going to have make a bunch of birdies," Woods said Wednesday. "Just keep the kind of pedal down and be aggressive."
He focused on aggression and scoring on Thursday instead of process and positions. The result was a good one, tying his best score in relationship to par this year (4-under 68 in the third round of the Masters) and turning in his lowest first-round score since a 66 to open the BMW Championship in September 2013. In his prior 15 PGA Tour starts, Woods had only opened in the 60s twice. This is progress.
Now the next step is to back it up, not back up, on Friday. With soft conditions expected, Woods cannot afford an over-par effort in Round 2 -- and that's just to make the cut.
However, with Woods' Thursday showing, it's hard to imagine he's concerned with simply making a paycheck this week. He's thinking about a golf-world-shattering win.