Still, when the Masters begins Thursday it will be surprising if Woods' name isn't on the leaderboard. He's been playing the tournament half his life now, and knows the course so well he finished fourth the last two years despite not having confidence in his rebuilt swing.
More importantly, the old swagger has returned. Being in contention won't be good enough.
"I'm here for the green jacket," he said.
Indeed, it could be a win for the ages. A fifth Masters title, and the start of a march toward the record book.
Just don't expect everyone to be cheering.
Tim Dahlberg is national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or twitter.com/timdahlberg
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