Shot Tracker data putt the putt at 24 feet 8 inches - the numbers nearly eerily invoking the memory of Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26.
That's what made Matt Kuchar's day all the more remarkable. "I made a good up-and-down for par on 10". "Like I said, very ironic that I happened to have those numbers on those holes and those exact measurements".
His record at Riviera is under far greater scrutiny, especially this week as he tries for his 83rd PGA Tour victory to set the career mark he now shares with Sam Snead. Woods has not won in 10 appearances as a pro, two others as a teenage amateur. The death of Bryant on January 26 is still raw in Los Angeles, and the tour dedicated No. 8 - Bryant wore Nos. 8 and 24 during his 20 years with the Lakers - with a purple-and-gold tee sign.
After the goosebumps-inducing eagle at the opener, Woods added birdies at 5 and 8 to make the turn in four-under 31.
"It was a very sluggish start", he said afterwards. Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor, both from Abbotsford, B.C., were tied for 42nd at even par, while Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., was tied for 97th at 3-over 74.
That was plenty entertaining for the predictably robust gallery that followed him on a postcard day, cheering him around a course that has been unusually challenging for him. He opened with a 74 and was in danger of missing the cut for the second time this year.
Woods seemed bent on having his say at Riviera with the eagle and two more birdies through eight holes, leaving him three off the lead and the back nine to play.
In the right rough off the tee at 18, Woods ended with a bogey that left him five shots behind leader Matt Kuchar. At the dogleg left 13th, he yanked a drive into the trees left but managed to get up and down from 165 yards for par. He missed the green to the left on No. 12 for bogey.
Koepka's two-under effort was nowhere was near as stressful to watch, but it still boasted a Seve-like highlight on the par-four second when he pushed his drive into the trees.
"I thought I drove the ball pretty well, I just need to hit a few more greens".
"(It was) good after the start", McIlroy told Sky Sports.
"Made a couple loose swings and made a couple good saves on the back nine for par, but just wasn't able to get any birdies on the back nine". It only lasted so long. I didn't know about the putt being that long ...
"To shoot a number like this, you kind of do most things well", Kuchar said. "I didn't find myself in much trouble today".
In a field that includes nine of the world's top 10, number one Rory McIlroy had a pair of eagles in a 68 that was one shot better than Brooks Koepka, who he has just replaced at the top of the rankings.
Six holes later, with the weather warming up, he had 289 yards into the 17th and put a three-wood pin-high, 35 feet from the hole.
The biggest challenge was the cold air in the morning.
"It just shows you what temperature does", McIlroy said.