McIlroy bogeyed the opening hole after flying his approach over the green and although he responded immediately with a birdie on the next, further dropped shots on the fourth and seventh saw him tumble down the leaderboard.
A few hundred yards away, Brooks Koepka was in the process of finishing off a relentless, robotic round to win the 2018 PGA Championship.
You could hear it in the "Let's Go, Tiger" chants that had to make Woodland wince one way or another on a day when he at times had to be distracted by the ruckus over Woods when he needed to concentrate.
"I'm in uncharted territory", Woods said.
"To go from not even knowing if I was going to play again, it's mind boggling", said Koepka, who missed the first four months of the season with a wrist injury, "For some reason the majors just get my attention". I mean, he becomes a contender. Not since Woods won four in a row through the 2001 Masters has anyone won majors at such an alarming rate.
At the year's final major, he reiterated that claim.
"To come out here and play as well as we did was really, I can't even put into words how well I played and I'm so excited for myself and my caddie and my team".
"I'm just thankful to be here". I didn't know when I was going to start and how many tournaments I was going to play, how well I was going to play.
However, Koepka was immune to the pressure and calmly went about his business.
You can see a full list of the U.S. Ryder Cup auto-qualifiers below (in bold), plus the players ranked 9-12. "It kind of pushes you to step up your game".
"I still think you want to be able to weave the four captain's picks into the framework of the eight that we have, but you could pick two guys who paired very well as captain's picks as well", Furyk said.
Playing in the final group, Adam Scott was briefly knotted with Koepka at 14 under but finished third, a shot behind Woods.
"I have a lot of self belief", said Koepka, struggling to recall having ever been rattled on the course.
The roars of the crowds have died down.
Meanwhile, Koepka was making back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to get to 16 under and seize control of the tournament.
The Golf Channel's Justin Ray highlights how long it has been since Scott has been in contention in a major.
Stewart Cink felt as if he'd traveled back in time on Saturday, playing with Tiger Woods and all that entails - the massive crowds, the raucous cheering and the mind-bending intensity.
"Three majors at 28, it's a cool feeling".
"You want guys that are in good form, say, from the summertime on", said Furyk, who is set to announce three at-large picks September 3, with the fourth and last name to be revealed September 9.
After a shaky start to the week, Finau finished strong with three birdies on his last five holes to finish in the 60s for the third straight day with a 68 for 3-under-par 277 total.