Tiger's putter provides the talking point
They were taking their seats well ahead of the announcement that Tiger was in the house. They were to be disappointed - unless they were interested in the contents of his golf bag for this Open.
We witnessed another skilful performance from Woods. We always do at St Andrews. Usually it is when he is letting his clubs do the talking. This time it was when he was having to provide the chat.
And at his pre-Championship news conference it was no surprise to witness his tactics at shutting down any line of questioning that referenced his changed circumstances. But for once he did use the occasion to be somewhat revelatory.
It wasn't of interest to those penning stories for the front pages but for golfing aficionados it was well worth hearing - indeed, an almost historic development.
Woods will be using a new putter for this Open. For the first time since 1999 and after winning him 13 majors, his previously trusty wand has been benched.
One reporter said to him that it must be like "kicking a member of the family out". Ouch - not the best turn of phrase as rumours sweep St Andrews that his divorce with Elin has been finalised.
Regardless, the golfing implications of Woods's change to a harder faced putter are fascinating. He says it is all down to the pedestrian pace of the St Andrews greens.
"I've always struggled on slower greens. I've always putted well on faster greens. This putter does come off faster with the new groove technology. It gets it rolling faster," Woods explained.
Let's face it, since his return to action, his putting has not been the traditional strength it once was. In fact, it was on the wane prior to his driving difficulties outside his house last November.
Caddie Steve Williams hands Woods his new putter during Tuesday's practice. Photo: Getty
He always said that by not changing putter he gave himself an advantage over the rest of the field, who are more prone to chopping and changing. But now he has joined that brigade as he seeks his fourth Open title and third at the home of golf.
There are also commercial implications. If the move is a success, the manufacturers who famously stood by him while the rest of his sponsors fled will be richly rewarded.
This, though, seems to be a purely golfing move as he seeks to build on the fourth-place finishes Woods has recorded in the first two majors of the year.
This news conference was always going to be a test. In America, the media has tired of the personal questions because they know they won't yield any answers.
Woods seemed nervous throughout because he knew this was the British media's chance to put him under scrutiny.
He knew what would be coming, he had practised and he parried with aplomb as his manager and publicist stood like worried cornermen. Mark Steinberg chewed his gum anxiously, Glen Greenspan's brow seemed to have become prone to a permanent furrow.
Impending divorce, how important is his public image to him, past tantrums on the course - they were all thrown at him but failed to land a meaningful blow.
As he finished with his traditional "you got it guys", you knew he was relieved to have the most uncomfortable 20 minutes of Open week out of the way.
What had we got? As expected, not very much was forthcoming other than the golf.
And at least he provided a decent line on that with his putter revelation. The talking is now over and the week is all about how well that new implement works.