Tiger Woods produced an error-strewn 74 to finish three over after the opening round of the PGA Tour's Quicken Loans National at Congressional.
The 14-time major champion is playing his first tournament after a three-month absence following back surgery.
The 38-year-old was six over after 12 holes, but recovered with three birdies as he targets next month's Open.
Woods ended eight shots off the first-round lead, held by Australia's Greg Chalmers on five under.
Ricky Barnes, from the United States, and Sweden's Freddie Jacobsen were a shot further back on four under, with US Open runner-up Erik Compton and defending champion Bill Haas in a quartet on three under.
Woods, the world number five, struggled with his distance control and putting as he made five bogeys with only one birdie over his front nine after starting from the 10th.
Two more bogeys followed at the second and third but he found some touch over the finishing stretch as he looks to return to form before next month's Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, the scene of his last Open triumph in 2006.
Woods had not played competitively since the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral in March, where he recorded his worst ever final-round score of 78. It was after that tournament that he underwent surgery for a pinched nerve.
"The back is great," said Woods, who is chasing a first major victory since the 2008 US Open. "I had no issues at all. No twinges, no nothing. It felt fantastic. That's one of the reasons why I let go on those tee shots. I hit it pretty hard out there.
"I played a lot better than the score indicated, which is good."