Tiger Woods was back on the PGA Tour for the first time in more than three months Thursday and said he felt “fantastic.”

He was talking about his back, not his game.

One day into his most recent return from injury, that’s what mattered to him.

Woods opened with two straight bogeys, made five more bogeys in a seven-hole stretch around the turn at tough Congressional and finally found his groove late in the opening round of the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda, Md., for a 3-over 74.

Woods was tied for 83rd — only 19 players had a higher score — and he will have to score better today if he wants to avoid missing the cut for the first time in two years.

“I made so many little mistakes,” Woods said. “So I played a lot better than the score indicated.”

Congressional had a lot to do with that.

Two weeks after a U.S. Open that had no rough, Congressional made it feel like one. Any shot just off the fairway was buried, making it difficult for even the powerful players to reach the green on some of the longer par 4s.

Greg Chalmers finished with three straight birdies for a 66 and a 1-shot lead over Ricky Barnes and Freddie Jacobson. Defending champion Bill Haas, Patrick Reed, U.S. Open runner-up Erik Compton and Tyrone Van Aswegen shot 68. Compton birdied his last four holes.

“I didn’t think it was easy at all,” Chalmers said. “I played really well, and I think anybody who plays really well can shoot a low score. You just have to be coming out of the fairway, and I didn’t that the majority of the time today.”

Only 26 players in the 120-man field broke par.

This day, however, was all about Woods.

He has been golf’s biggest draw since he turned pro in 1996 and accumulated 79 wins on the PGA Tour and 14 majors. He won the last two times he played Congressional, in 2009 and 2012.

Even with an early start, the gallery lined the entire left side of the 218-yard 10th hole, with hundreds of others watching from the patio and veranda of the famed clubhouse at Congressional.

Two holes into Woods’ opening round, they had reason to ask: We waited three months for this?

But it wasn’t just Woods. He played with Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, and these three top-10 players combined for six bogeys in two holes. All three of them were in the fairway on the same hole one time the entire round — on No. 11, the hardest at Congressional, and only because Day’s tee shot ricocheted off a tree.

Day had a 73, while Spieth shot 74.

“It was cool playing the first one back,” Spieth said. “I love playing alongside Jason, as well. We are all rooting for each other, and that’s a good feeling. It was hard to root for each other because it just looked like the lid was closed on the hole. But once we all started hitting a couple fairways, it got better at the end.”

Woods last played at Doral on March 9, when he closed with a 78 while coping with pain in his lower back. He had microdiscectomy surgery March 31, causing him to miss the Masters and U.S. Open.

Senior Players

Joe Durant, David Frost and Doug Garwood sprinted to the early lead at the Senior Players Championship, shooting 6-under 64 at defenseless Fox Chapel.

Still drying out after days of steady rain, the par-70 layout in suburban Pittsburgh offered little resistance. Frost and Garwood breezed through their rounds without making a bogey, and Durant offset his lone bogey with seven birdies.

Bernhard Langer, Corey Pavin, Larry Mize, Steve Pate, Olin Browne, Bart Bryant, Peter Fowler and Wes Short Jr. shot 65. Colin Montgomerie, the Senior PGA winner last month, opened with a 5-under 30 on the front nine before fading to a 69.

Defending champion Kenny Perry, looking for his fourth major title in the last year, had a 70. He won the Tradition last month.

BMW International Open

England’s Danny Willett and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello shot 8-under 64 to share the lead in the BMW International Open, while local favorite Martin Kaymer opened with a 71 at Gut Laerchenhof in Cologne, Germany, in his first round since winning the U.S. Open.

Willett won the 2012 tournament at Gut Laerchenhof.

Kaymer is from Dusseldorf, about 20 miles from Jack Nicklaus-designed Gut Larchenhof. He’s the lone German champion in tournament history, winning in 2008 at Munich Eichenried.