Woods – who started at the 10th with Justin Rose and Bryson DeChambeau – recorded his first birdie of the day at the 11th hole with a manageable up-and-down.
He could not get into his stride, though, and he gave that stroke back two holes later when he sent his second shot into a bunker and failed to convert another chipped putt.
Woods hit a string of pars to turn onto the front nine, but in the final four-hole stretch, he came up with the goods.
It was his best first-round score at Muirfield Village since 2012.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 30, 2019
After playing the par-five fifth hole perfectly, reaching the green in two, rolling his first putt to within three feet and finishing it off for a birdie to move back to one under, he lost that stroke at the sixth, but regained it with a birdie on the seventh and went even lower with another gain at the next hole – a 185-yard par three.
A two-putt par at the ninth meant Woods was tied for 11th when he finished his round, which was five strokes back of early leader Ryan Moore.