Even while the final round is still finishing as the sun sets at Augusta, the annual favorite to win the tournament shot perhaps his best round in over a decade... and definitely the best at the Masters.
Tiger Woods played his first competitive round of professional golf in 144 days following what would most certainly be the most embarrassing and humiliating time of his life on golf's biggest stage... and showed the world that he is, indeed, back.
One cannot help but remember the press conference to start the Tiger Era at which a young man uttered the words, "Hello world". While the circumstances are definitely different this time around, an argument can be made to suggest that this is another introduction to the world. Nobody knows what to expect, yet there are high expectations.
Tiger worked his way around Augusta National with the mastery that only he can provide and showcase. While other names like Couples, Mickelson, Westwood and Watson made most of the noise on this Thursday, the attention of the golfing world was focused almost entirely on the man that would be king of golf.
Shooting his first sub-70 round of his career on day one of the tournament, Tiger reminded everyone on the 15th hole that he was no different than when he left some 5 months earlier by making a non-chalant eagle. Displaying the poise that he promised he would stress from this point forward during his rounds, Tiger accepted the good shots with the bad while breaking into the Top 10 for the championship.
No longer can people wonder if the game is sharp, nor if he will let the uncertainty of gallery acceptance haunt his mind. Tiger came out to prove to us all that we can still believe in him as a golfer even if we may disagree about him as a man.