(CNN) -- Tiger Woods birdied six of his last nine holes to claim a two-shot lead after the first round of the Quail Hollow Championship in North Carolina.
Woods hammers his tee shot down the 16th fairway at Quail Hollow.
The world number one is playing his first tournament since his sixth-placed finish at the Masters and conjured up his old magic to card a seven-under 65.
Phil Mickelson, Woods' partner for their last day heroics at Augusta, is in the chasing group with Steve Marino, Jason Dufner and Australia's Robert Allenby.
South Africa's Retief Goosen, Jeff Maggert, Hunter Mahan and Lucas Glover sit in a group tied for sixth, a shot further back at four under.
Woods, who started at the 10th made a solid start to stand one-under at the turn, but ripped through the front nine in a record-equalling 30 shots.
"I hit the ball actually not bad today. I hit a couple loose shots here and there but I putted really well," Woods told the official PGA Tour Web site.
"I had a couple of key saves, made a nice little up-and-down at two and just a really good save at four that kept the round going. It's always nice when you birdie the last three.
Defending champion Anthony Kim and 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina began with opening rounds of two-under-par 70.
On a day of generally low scoring, more than half the 156-strong field at the PGA Tour event shot par or better, despite the slick greens.
"It's playable," Woods said. "The only thing is, it'll bait you into being more aggressive into some of these flags. You've just got to be careful on that."
Ireland's two-time major champion of 2008 Padraig Harrington finished at one-over.