Woods has had a largely dismal 2015 so far, slumping to 220th in the world rankings and recording three scores in the 80s in his last six tournaments.
The former world number one also missed the cut in the US Open at Chambers Bay with his worst ever score in the event (80 in the first round) and highest 36-hole total of his career (156).
However, the 14-time major winner had a much better day in West Virginia on Thursday as he broke 70 for only the third time this season and the first time since the Masters in April, where he carded a four-under-par 68 in the third round.
Starting on the 10th, Woods carded birdies on the 12th, 15th and 16th before dropping his first shot of the day on the 17th to reach the turn in 34.
After a birdie on the second, Woods looked to have undone much of his good work with a double bogey on the sixth, where he thinned a bunker shot across the green, but he responded superbly to finish his round with three straight birdies.
That left the 39-year-old in a good position to avoid missing the cut in consecutive PGA Tour events for the first time in his illustrious career, albeit four shots behind clubhouse leader Scott Langley who carded a flawless 62.
Another American, Jonathan Byrd, was second on seven under after a 63 while England’s Brian Davis was a further shot back in a tie for third with Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa.
Meanwhile the European Tour and Royal & Ancient have joined golf’s most influential organisations in distancing themselves from disparaging comments US presidential candidate Donald Trump made about Mexican immigrants.
Announcing his presidency in the US, Trump aired his views on immigration, saying: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Yesterday an R&A spokesman said: “The R&A believes that golf should be open to all and echoes the sentiments of the United States’ golf organisations.”
A European Tour spokesman said: “The European Tour is a global tour, with the diversity of our membership one of the things we are most proud of.
“Naturally we echo the sentiments of the other golfing organisations on this matter.”