Donald Miralle, Getty Images
Tiger Woods smiles during the first round of the Buick Invitational at the Torrey Pines Golf Course.

SAN DIEGO — Tiger Woods delivered the score he expected in his 2008 debut, just not the game.

Despite playing from the sand, rough and behind a few trees early in his round, Woods shot a 5-under 67 on Thursday on the tougher South Course at Torrey Pines. That left him two shots behind Troy Matteson and gave him a strong presence on the leaderboard as he goes for his fourth straight title in the Buick Invitational.

Matteson ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, then finished his round with consecutive birdies to become the first player since Davis Love III in 2000 to have the first-round lead while playing the South.

Brad Adamonis had a 66 on the North Course, which is 600 yards shorter and played more than two strokes easier.

Rory Sabbatini, Stuart Appleby and Kevin Streelman, who began the day as the third alternate, were in the group at 67 with Woods. They all played on the North, which is where Matteson and Woods play on Friday.