"The confirmation of the entry from one of the greatest golfers ever to grace the sport will delight fans around the world".
Three players are tied for the lead at the top as Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson and Alexander Noren all posted 6-under 66s in the morning.
Woods made his first appearance at a major since 2015 at the Augusta Masters earlier this year and looks on course to play the US Open in June this year.
Mickelson, the 2007 Players champion, rubbished the idea a freaky, long sleeve button up which resembled a business shirt had any affect on his play. "With these greens as soft as they are, I didn't take advantage of the opportunities I had to really shoot a good number".
Kim, who past year was the youngest victor of the Players, joined legendary Jack Nicklaus as the first player since Nicklaus in 1977 to shoot an equal defending champion low first round of 67.
"For me to be able to play with a person I've gone against for over two decades, it's a lot of fun". True, the Rory McIlroy-Justin Thomas-Jordan Spieth all-star grouping also had a bad day, going 1 under, 1 over and 3 over, respectively.
"I didn't quite swing it right today, and I didn't quite have the shape, ball flight", said Woods. Kim, meanwhile, reached seven-under after 16 holes, but ran up two straight bogeys as he got a late case of the hooks.
"I knew I was going to drop a shot, but didn't want to shoot an over-par round", Woods said.
Woods was the best of the trio, but aside from an eagle on the par-5 ninth, he was mostly mediocre.
Woods nearly had a bonus when a long-range putt lipped out at the eighth, and his par at the long ninth rounded off another day of frustration for the former world No 1, who insisted his biggest fault was with his approach play.
Woods, Mickelson and Rickie Fowler, the third member of the high-profile grouping, rarely capitalized on the favorable conditions.
Mickelson's troubles happened Thursday, when he went double-bogey-double-double over a four-hole stretch on the back nine and shot a 79.
The 2007 victor at TPC moved to even par following birdies on holes Nos.
"Boy, it was nice to turn the round completely around there", he said, before assessing the gallery.
"They were into it early", Woods said. "Right now, he's just trying to get back into any winner's circle".
"So we have basically taken it back wo where it was in 2011, 2010, when I was playing well", he said.