Woods has not made the cut at the US Open for five years and not won the tournament since 2008, when he played a remarkable 19-hole play-off against Rocco Mediate with a serious knee injury.
But plenty of water has passed under the bridge since then with a well-publicised divorce after admitting several infidelities followed by multiple back surgeries and a trip to rehab to deal with a dependence on prescription painkillers.
However, after coming back in December, Woods appears relaxed and fit at long last, having come within one shot of a first win since his return to competitive golf at the Valspar Championship in March.
Can he go one better at the US Open? Follow every crucial moment of his first round right here.
Tiger Woods LIVE – round one of his US Open return
Tiger’s current score: +4 through three
7.35pm: It is slowly getting better for Tiger. He makes a par four at the third hole to stop the rot. The fourth is one of the easier holes one the course too so that should be an opportunity to avoid more dropped shots.
7.15pm: The par-three second is up next and Tiger goes two-iron, running through the green. He fails to get up-and-down despite a decent chip and that is another shot gone. Nightmare start for the three-time champ.
7pm: It’s not a great approach to the green for any of them though: the two younger men have both found the front bunker and Tiger is over the back in a grassy hollow with a tricky chip back.
All he can do is hack it out of the rough, up to the edge of the green… and back down to him again. He does eventually get on the green but misses the putt – and that’s a triple-bogey for Woods at the first. His partners both make par with solid six-foot putts.
6.47pm: There we go. Tiger is off in his 20th US Open. It’s an iron off the tee, following DJ and Thomas who went for the same approach, and all three found the fairway.
A sigh of relief is collectively breathed.