Woods, a 14-time major victor, faired slightly better as he continued his comeback from back surgery. He's coming off a win in Phoenix a few weeks back and came in 2nd at this tournament last season.
While the Masters is the next major on the schedule in April, this week's Honda Classic is preparation better fit for a US Open.
"The course definitely fits my eye for whatever reason". "I'm trying to get better, more efficient at what I'm doing and also I'm actually doing it under the gun, under the pressure of having to hit golf shots, and this golf course is not forgiving whatsoever. I like places like that".
Woods hit 7 out of 14 fairways and made 10 out of 18 greens in regulation. The American tops the betting in Palm Beach Gardens (Florida) but faces a tough task to retain his trophy, as he's joined by a strong field, which includes 10 of the world's top 25 players. More recently, he played with Woods on Saturday at Torrey Pines.
PGA champion Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger and Morgan Hoffmann - who all live up the road in Jupiter - opened with a 67. He came close to selection at 28s.
McIlroy won this tournament in 2012.
"Obviously last year Sergio (Garcia) had won a tournament beforehand, Danny Willett the year before had won a tournament, but I don't think it's necessary", McIlroy told a pre-tournament press conference.
"I'm close", the four-time Major victor insisted.More news: Title defender Svitolina to face Germany's Kerber in the Dubai Open semifinals
More news: Dolphins tag Landry…to trade him?
More news: FA Cup: Rochdale Set Up Wembley Replay After Dramatic Draw With Tottenham
Instead, I think there's some good each-way juice in Rafa Cabera Bello at 50/1.
A shot back sits world No.4 Justin Thomas and he's joined in a share of third by Morgan Hoffmann, Daniel Berger, Mackenzie Hughes and former British Open victor Louis Oosthuizen (67). "Wind was up. Greens got a little, sort of crusty and firm". T37 doesn't look incredible but he opened 68-70-67 to lie in the top 20 after 54 holes.
"Most of the guys have been playing a lot more than I have". He missed the cut in this tournament a year ago. He has the tools to succeed at this course and he recorded two top-five finishes in Florida past year.
Defending champion Rickie Fowler is listed at +800, which is pretty standard odds for the favorite.
But three-time major victor Padraig Harrington ignited hopes of Woods' return from spinal fusion surgery when he declared the 42-year-old will "definitely" win a 15th title on golf's biggest stage. Ranked 4th for Strokes Gained tee to green and 1st for sand saves. Sort of was pushing for a birdie at the last to try and shoot under par.
In any case, there is some hope there. Spoiler alert: he didn't crack the top ten after last week's showing at Riviera.
And so to course and current form. Kizzire covered the 505 yards in three shots, an outstanding bogey considering the two-shot penalty.
At PGA National, Glover took fourth place in 2013 and opened 68-69-68 past year before ending in a tie for 21st. In the third round, Woods scraped together a 70 while Snedeker turned in a 74, and afterward Snedeker said that Woods' short game was "probably as good or better than I ever remember it being". Some of the shots I like to play, they're not the same as they used to be.
Add that to his T11 at last year's Honda Classic and he could certainly make a mark.