Even Homer nods sometimes and Tiger Woods was no exception as he failed to solve the puzzling greens at Doral’s Blue Monster course and opened with an ultimately disappointing one-under par 71 on his return to strokeplay action after a nine-month absence.

“It was a little bit frustrating on those greens today.  I hit so many putts that looked good,” lamented Woods as he finished the day six-strokes behind clubhouse leaders Phil Mickelson, Prayed Marksaeng, Retief Goosen and Jeev Milkha Singh.

“I thought I hit my lines and thought I had the right speed, but they just didn't go in. It's not like I was playing poorly or struggling all the way around. If you go over the round, the putts I lipped out; those putts lip in, that's 4‑ or 5‑under par right there, no problem.”

It is an indication of just how good Woods is that he could play the first three holes of his opening round in one-under par without hitting even one good shot.

Dressed in a pair of smart, grey slacks and a white shirt with horizontal stripes, a Latino voice shouted “Let’s go Tigre” as he strode onto the 10th tee, greeted Robert Karlsson and Mike Weir and unleashed a trademark stinger with a three-wood.

His 282 yard opener found the right side of the fairway on the 530-yard dog-leg left par five but what happened next set the tone for much of a frustrating day for the world number one.

Carving his long iron approach into the front right bunker in a left to right wind, he thrashed the sand with his wedge as his recovery slid off the green. He then shaved the hole with a 12 footer for birdie. It was definitely not the start he was looking for.

A poor approach to the 11th forced him to chip and putt for his par and while he got handsy with his tee shot on the par-five 12th, his short game yielded a birdie in the shape of a 57 yard pitch and a delicate putt from ten feet.

By that stage the leading W’s on the leaderboard were the likes of Nick Watney, Oliver Wilson and Boo Weekley and when Woods bunkered his tee shot at the 216-yard 13th, he missed an 11 footer and slipped back into the anonymity of the pack.

While he missed few fairways and generally struck the ball solidly, he was largely bereft of luck on the greens and only had to tap in from 20 inches at the 15th after a glorious approach to the 172-yard par three.

Perhaps the most impressive shot he hit all day was a picture perfect, 313-yard draw down the fearsome 18th which left him no more than a three quarter wedge to a front right pin. He finished 30 feet away and missed the putt and it was his form on the greens that will have frustrated Woods more an anything.

He lipped out at least three times and played the back nine in level par with a tap in birdie at the first before splashing down at the par-three fourth to run up his second bogey of the day.

Trailing the leaders by six shots, he still believes he can win, explaining: “If I shot 64 every round, 20‑under par would be pretty good.”

You wouldn’t bet against him but he’ll need to putt better to have any chance of contending for his seventh CA Championship victory.