"I didn't really know what to expect, didn't know what my energy level would be," he said. "I felt really comfortable out there, I started by making some really good swings. I made some beautiful putts, I putted great all day."
U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and Argentinian Andres Romero, both with morning tee times, scored 65s. Garth Mulroy, one of the latest players on the course, matched that.
Simpson, also a Classic third-timer, stuck two approaches inside 4 feet and two others inside 9. It was almost reminiscent of 2010, when the field used the Old White's greens as pillows.
"The golf course is definitely a course you could tear apart today," said Tiger Woods, who played with Simpson. "The greens are firm but slow - drive the ball in the fairway and you're going to have a bunch of holes where it's going to be 9-iron [approach] on down.
"The ball is flying, it's warm, we're slightly at altitude. So definitely a golf course where I think most of the guys are going to be shooting 2, 3 under par or better."
Woods was not one of them, not after scoring a double-bogey 7 on the par-5 17th. He essentially handed three shots to the field on that hole, and finished with a 1-over 71.
Phil Mickelson shot the same score and gave away several shots. He three-putted to score a double bogey on one of the easier par-4s, No. 5, and he bogeyed the par-5 12th.
On the latter hole, he chipped from 24 feet to within 11 feet, and three-putted from there.
"I don't know how to explain it, other than I'm trying to make the first one, I ran it a little too far by about 4 feet both times, and ended up missing them," he said. "It happens, unfortunately. I felt like I let four shots slide there, not just those two."
Mickelson was the middle player of his threesome, with 2010 Classic champ Stuart Appleby shooting a 72. Scott Stallings, the 2011 champ, turned in a crowd-pleasing 67, birdieing the last three holes.
That gives him three straight birdies on the par-3 18th, which played at 162 yards.
"Yeah, it was nice," he said. "18's a cool hole and not everybody really likes ending on a par-3, but it's a hole that changed my life, so it's a cool way to end the day."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.