Tiger Woods was satisfied with his return after overcoming a front-nine wobble to win his opening match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship today.
Woods recorded a 3&2 win over Australian Brendan Jones in the first round of the 64-man event at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in his first competitive action since last June, when he won the US Open before needing reconstructive knee surgery.
"I felt good," Woods said. "I got off to a quick start and that helps. I got off some good shots early, had some loose irons there in the middle part of the round but got back and thought I had a good day, except for those couple of loose irons."
Woods, the defending champion, said he had felt no adverse reaction from his rehabilitated left knee.
"It felt good," he said. "I felt for sure it would be a little bit more stiff than it was.
"I'm sure it will be a little bit stiff later but ice and elevate and I'll be good to go tomorrow."
The world number one had started in determined fashion and to a huge roar from the packed stands around the first tee box as he played a three wood down the 460-yard par-four opening hole on the way to a birdie.
He was quickly two up after Jones conceded the second but then tailed off as both players made bogeys at the third and fifth.
Woods bogeyed the par-four seventh as Jones parred but was quickly back in control with a birdie at the eighth and he forged ahead by winning the 12th and 13th holes.
There was a brief rally from Jones, who eagled the par-four 15th but Woods completed his win at the 16th.
Woods said it had felt like he had not been away from the fairways.
"I said to Stevie (Williams, his caddie), 'it feels like we haven't been gone'. It was business as usual," he added.
"I thought I'd be a little more nervous than that but when it comes right down to it it's about placement so I just kind of went back to all the basics."
While the world number one looked forward, the players immediately behind him in the rankings, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington, were going home, falling 1-up to Charl Schwartzel and Pat Perez respectively.
Harrington, the Open and US PGA champion, had trailed two down with three to play against Perez before sending in an 18-foot putt at the par-three 16th to win the hole.
But the Irishman could not close the gap further as the American triumphed.
Irish teenager Rory McIlroy, though, defeated South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen 2&1 in his first outing as a professional in the United States.
The Dubai Desert Classic winner now faces US Ryder Cup star Hunter Mahan in the second round with Woods a potential opponent in round three if he overcomes South Africa's Tim Clark.
Oliver Wilson set up a second-round meeting with Ryder Cup foe Anthony Kim with an upset victory on a great day for the English contingent.
Wilson clinched a 3&1 defeat of Korea's KJ Choi, a player 25 places ahead of him in the world rankings, while Kim scored a 7&5 victory over Chinese Taipei's Lin Wen-tang.
Starting the good day for the English was Lee Westwood, who moved into the second round with a bogey-free, five-birdie 2&1 win over Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng in the opening contest.
Westwood now meets last year's beaten finalist Stewart Cink, who needed 19 holes to defeat Richard Sterne of South Africa.
Mickelson survived a late rally from Angel Cabrera to beat the Argentine on the 19th hole and set up a meeting with Zach Johnson, who defeated Ireland's Graeme McDowell 3&1, while Luke Donald beat Ben Curtis on the 19th hole.
Paul Casey beat Aaron Baddeley of Australia one up to progress to a match with another Australian, Matt Goggin, who scored an upset one-up win over Kenny Perry.
Ian Poulter won 4&3 over Jeev Milka Singh but Justin Rose, whose wife Kate gave birth to baby Leo on Saturday, was beaten one up by American Boo Weekley.
Ross Fisher made it six out of seven wins for the English when he beat Robert Allenby of Australia one up.