An uncharacteristic double bogey at the last cost Tiger Woods the outright lead on the opening day of the Target World Challenge, the tournament he hosts in Southern California.
The world number one led for most of the day, reaching the turn at three under after birdies at the first, second and fifth.
He picked up further shots at the 10th and 11th and remained bogey free until the last where his drive found the trees on the right.
His approach went into a small creek left of the green and after taking a penalty drop and chipping on he was left with an eight-foot bogey putt which rolled three feet past the hole.
That allowed fellow American and world number three Jim Furyk to take a one-stroke lead after a four-under-par 68.
Woods dropped into a share of second with Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson and Rory Sabbatini.
“It’s frustrating the way it ended because it was a good round of golf,” said Woods, back in action after nearly three months off.
“It could have really realistically have been seven under par without being all that stressed out. I ended up at three under par.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do the next three days, but first round back, very pleased at how consistent I was.
“I obviously have to clean up the round a little bit around the greens, make sure my level of pitching gets a little more sound than it was today.
“I was surprised at how quickly I got into the flow of the round. With long lay-offs sometimes it takes you three, four, five holes before you feel comfortable with the flow of a round – I got up really pretty quick today, which was nice.”
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington is joint sixth after a 71 but Ryder Cup team-mate Colin Montgomerie had a disastrous day.
He carded an eight-over 80 to be last, six strokes adrift of the 16-man field.