Tiger Woods helped attract a record, raucous crowd to the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Thursday, the first big event in a week that concludes with the Super Bowl.
They didn't see much of a game — at least not from Woods.
In his first appearance at the TPC Scottsdale in 14 years — and only his second tournament in six months — Woods couldn't hit the green with three chip shots and was near the bottom of the leaderboard until two key shots on the back nine salvaged a 2-over 73.
It was the first time in his career that Woods shot over par in his first round of the year. And he already was nine shots behind Ryan Palmer, who opened with a 7-under 64 to build a one-shot lead when play was suspended because of darkness.
"This is my second tournament in six months, so I just need tournament rounds like this where I can fight through it, turn it around, grind through it and make adjustments on the fly," Woods said.
He was 5 over through 11 holes when Woods hit a 5-iron to a foot for a tap-in eagle on the 13th hole. After making it through the par-3 16th hole, where he twice had to back off shots when someone shouted as he stood over the ball, he hit his best drive of the day that bounded onto the green at the par-4 17th and set up a two-putt birdie.
The fans didn't seem to mind. They were happy to see golf's biggest star at their outdoor party for the first time since 2001, back when Woods was No. 1 in the world and headed for an unprecedented sweep of the majors.
The attendance was 118,461 — more than the Super Bowl will draw Sunday — and broke the Thursday record at the Phoenix Open by more than 30,000.
Palmer was 10-under par through 10 holes last week in the Humana Challenge and settled for a 61. He was 7 under through 12 holes on Thursday and then closed with six straight pars for a 64.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Keegan Bradley, who made seven birdies in the morning, and Masters champion Bubba Watson, whose tee shot on the 17th hole rolled a few inches from the cup and settled 4 feet away.
Woods was in the group ahead of him, and it's customary for players to step aside when they're on the 17th green to let the others hit their tee shots. Woods smiled when Watson approached and told him, "Good shot."
Qualifier Jang leads
Ha Na Jang went from qualifier to leader in only a few days at the LPGA season opener. And it surprised no one.
The 22-year-old South Korean, ranked 21st in the world, shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the Coates Golf Championship and opened up a four-shot lead over Stacy Lewis heading into the third round in Ocala, Fla.
Jang has full status on the LPGA Tour. But because the opener isn't a full-field event, she had to qualify last Saturday. Her extra time at Golden Golf & Ocala Equestrian Club certainly paid dividends. She made one bogey in two rounds, and responded to that miscue with birdies on two of the next three holes.
"I hope to play well these next two days so people get to know who I am," Jang said through an interpreter.
•Bernd Wiesberger made seven birdies on his last 10 holes to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates. Lee Westwood and Nicolas Colsaerts were among four players tied for second, along with American Peter Uihlein and Andy Sullivan. Rory McIlroy, last year's British Open and PGA Championship winner, was another shot back.