In the year's first major, Tiger Woods put on the green jacket for the first time since 2005.
In the year's second, he failed to make the weekend.
If the first round of the year's third is any indication, Woods will be hanging out somewhere in the middle ground at the 2019 U.S. Open. Tiger shot a one-under 70 to go into the clubhouse in a tie for 27th place, four strokes behind a group of five players at five under.
For most of the round, Woods focused on saving pars. His best shot of the round was a 30-foot par putt on the par-five 14th.
The round could have been a lot better if it weren't for a miserable 5 on the par-three fifth, which was sandwiched between three birdies. Overall, Woods finished with those three birdies against the double bogey and parred the remaining 14 holes.
Woods' biggest issues in the round were his approaches, which consistently came up short of their intended target. He hit just 50 percent of his greens in regulation and seemed to be at times a club short.
It's unclear if Woods just couldn't get the feel for his irons or wasn't getting the proper reads from his caddy. That said, he probably cost himself at least a stroke or two with his errant approaches.
“It’s been a while since we played the U.S. Open here and there’s nothing like a U.S. Open setup at Pebble Beach,” Woods told reporters earlier this week. “The greens are slanted. Very small targets.”
Woods leaving strokes on the course could wind up being a major issue as the week progresses. The soft course conditions led to 39 golfers playing Pebble Beach under par, which is uncharacteristic for one of the country's most difficult courses. Graeme McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open at even par, and Woods was the only golfer under par during his 2000 romp at the course.
No golfer has won a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach at better than six under other than Woods, whose 12-under in 2000 is arguably the crowning achievement of his career.
Getting to three/four/five under par through the first round will give the guys atop the leaderboard more cushion when the course toughens up.