The 14-time major winner will make his eighth Ryder Cup appearance – and first since 2012 – later this month after being named as a wild card by US captain Jim Furyk.
And the PGA Championship runner-up continued his good form with an eight-under-par 62, which was later matched by Ryder Cup rival Rory McIlroy.
The 42-year-old’s lowest opening round since 1999 would have been bettered by McIlroy had the Northern Irishman not bogeyed two of his last three holes.
Woods was using the 19-year-old putter which earned him 13 of his 14 major titles, having taken the decision to try a third different flat stick in as many weeks.
He told tigerwoods.com: “It feels good. I know the release point and I know how it swings.
“And my body morphed into a position where it understands where it needs to be to release the putter.”
Xander Schauffele is a shot off the lead while Billy Horschel, Peter Uihlein, Justin Thomas and Alex Noren all carded a six-under 64.
Rickie Fowler is in a four-man group on five under on his first appearance of the FedEx Cup play-offs.
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