If you stayed up to watch Tiger Woods' opening round at the Zozo Championship, it was certainly worth it. Although, many people probably turned their TVs off after the 15-time major champ bogeyed his first three holes at Narashino Country Club, Woods wound up birdieing nine of his final 15 holes to shoot a six-under-par 64 and grab a share of the lead with Gary Woodland. Making the score even more impressive was that Woods was making his first PGA Tour start since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee nine weeks ago. And it certainly didn't do anything to hurt Woods' chances of picking himself to represent the U.S. in December's Presidents Cup.
But aside from the obvious, the round stood out statistically for several reasons. Here's a closer look why:
1. Woods' 64 was his lowest score of the year. Woods' previous best in 2019 was a third-round 65 at the Genesis Open in February.
2. This was Woods' first sub-70 round to start a PGA Tour event since he opened the 2018 Tour Championship with a 65. You just might remember what wound up happening that week ...
3. Woods' 64 was his lowest score to start a PGA Tour season in his career. Yep, in his career. His previous best was a 66 at Torrey Pines in 2007. And yes, he won that week.
4. Woods' nine birdies were the most he's made in one round since he also made nine at Doral during the first round of the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. His career best is 10, which he has done twice.
5. Woods hit 14 consecutive greens from holes 12 (he started his round on the back nine) through 7. You could say he was dialed in with the irons, particularly with this final approach on 18 that setup an easy closing birdie:
6. This matched the lowest score Woods has ever shot with three bogeys on his card. Gritty!
7. According to 15th Club's Justin Ray, Woods' +7.23 strokes gained total on Thursday is his best since the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational. In other words, it's not like everyone was tearing this place up. And it's been a long time since Woods outplayed the rest of the field for one day like this.
Another incredible stat involving Woods that was mentioned during Golf Channel's broadcast is the he hasn't held a solo lead after one round of a PGA Tour event since the 2009 PGA Championship. A couple late birdies from Woodland kept Woods from snapping that streak, but it's still surprising that someone with 81 career victories hasn't had the lead to himself after Day 1 in more than a decade and that he's done it only 16 times total during his illustrious career.
Not as surprising is the fact Woods has won his first start of the season seven previous times, most recently at Torrey Pines in 2013. We're pretty sure that changing that to eight—and upping his career wins total to 82—are the only numbers Woods is concerned about these next few days.