Better yet, he didn't hurt anyone in the gallery.
Even if Woods doesn't win this weekend, though, he can do some major work on improving his world ranking.
Woods' 71 matched the best score of any player in the last 12 groups, and there were just five scores under par among the last 51 players to tee off.
"I've never played a course this firm", Finau said.
Cold and wet conditions greeted the early starters in the second round and McIlroy was forced to tinker with his game plan at Carnoustie, playing conservatively in shooting a 2-under 69 that left him two strokes off Zach Johnson's clubhouse lead.
The result was numerous long approaches, but those two opportunities at the par-5s were wasted, along with a three-putt par at the 13th hole.
Asked if there was any trepidation about taking on the shot, Woods answered: "I kept moving them back".
His five-under-par 66 came thanks to a consistent display with the occasional gutsy call, most notably a bold tee-shot on six that handed him an eagle and set him on his way.
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Ireland's Rory McIlroy hits from the rough on the 14th during day one of The Open. "It grabbed the shaft and smothered it", he said. "I was very, very fortunate that it got far enough down there where I had a full wedge into the green". "Even if you play aggressive around here, you might make more bogeys than playing it safe, but you're going to make more birdies as well".
Woods answered with a pair of birdies, and it was give-and-take the rest of the way.
"I was thinking I needed to make a par on the last". He missed and made birdie. I feel like my game is made for championship golf and I'm getting better each year and I know what to expect at this point of my career. "Today wasn't quite as good, but I finally birdied [a] par-5".
He was six shots behind when he finished and figured the margin would be a little wider, which it was.
Despite his travails, those in front of him will still be wary of Woods pulling something out of his box of tricks over the weekend as he attempts to mark his return to this championship after a two-year hiatus in the best possible manner. Had Justin Rose not made a putt for birdie on the 36th hole, it would have been only the second time that the world number one, two, and three had missed the cut in a major.
The pin was toward the centre of the green.
Woods, wearing a smart blue sleeveless jersey that matched the colour of the summer sky, dissected the fairway with his opening tee shot, twirled his iron in his hand and strode off with a huge media posse in tow.
"Greg (Norman) was there at Birkdale, I think about 54-ish, somewhere around there". It's really cool just to hear what they have to say. I wasn't saying to myself, 'Geez, I wish I was on the other side of the draw'.