Woods was five shots adrift of Hoffman at the halfway mark and declared he was "still in it" in his first competitive tournament for 10 months after recovering from a fourth back operation.
However, his clubhead speed was impressive, as was his putting stroke, as he ended the day just three shots off the lead, held by new European No 1 Tommy Fleetwood.
Woods' booming 300-yard opening tee ball flirted with a sandy waste area on the left side of the fairway and - maybe in a nod from the golf gods - got a good kick that bounced the ball into the fairway, leaving him 99 yards to the hole.
Hoffman also had a bright start with six birdies and a bogey on the front nine and pulled away on the back side with six more birdies and two bogeys.
There was a fine approach to five feet on the first, a two-putt birdie from 30 feet on the par-five third and a brilliant second shot to four feet on the third. Woods was 1 over on the back nine with one birdie and two bogeys and now sits five shots off the lead at 7 under. "It's going to take time, a lot more practice, a lot more training and more tournaments".
"I didn't know what I could do", Woods said.
"The only thing I struggled with was the speed of the greens". "The greatest player of his generation has come back at an age when comebacks aren't normal". World No 1 Dustin Johnson and Open champion Jordan Spieth are two behind along with Justin Rose and Kevin Chappell.
Florida soccer coach found in NY with missing teen arrested
Frisina and Rodriguez were spotted on cameras in Georgia on Sunday and then at a pawn shop in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rodriguez and the teen had been around each other "at sports events, but they've never been alone at all", Smith said.