Jim Furyk named Woods, Phil Mickleson and Bryson DeChambeau as three of his four picks, waiting for the conclusion of this week’s BMW Championship before naming his fourth wildcard.
After a string of impressive performances prior to Furyk’s announcement, not many disputed Woods’ inclusion.
But if there were still any doubters as to whether the 14-time major winner still had his A-Game in the locker, he silenced them with an exceptional first round at Aronimink Golf Club.
The 42-year-old was in a group with Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth on the opening day in Philadelphia, but outshone his younger compatriots.
Woods began in the 35 degree heat with a birdie on the first, bringing back his trusted Scotty Cameron putter.
“It felt good [using the Scotty Cameron],” Woods said.
“My body remembered the feel of that putter and how it swings. I was just letting it rip on the greens.”
On the first nine, Woods came out three under shooting only one bogey.
He then nailed his driver on holes 12 and 13 to set up successive birdies, peaking on the 16th with an eagle on a par-5.
He finished on 62 shots, 8-under and tied with Rory McIlroy for the lead.
Not one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Woods remained reticent amid the hype over his first round.
On what sparked such a smooth first round, Woods replied: “I made a few putts today. Right out of the gate.”
The sweltering heat did affect the players, despite Woods’ scorecard, and the leader admitted: “Today I’m a little tired.
“It would be nice to hop into a little ice bath or some kind of cooling thing right now. I will do that here in a little bit.
“I lose quite a bit of water weight when I play in conditions like this. I’ve got to make sure I watch it.
“I have a hard time maintaining weight when I play golf tournaments anyway and it’s one of those things where it’s hard to eat enough calories out there.
“Weeks like this are tough on the body, and that’s where training comes into play.”