Big week for Big Easy and Tiger
There was plenty of aerial activity as the players were helicoptered in and out but there was no need for a blimp to track the movement of a single black Mercedes.
The opening day of the Tavistock Cup at Lake Nona, an event exclusive to golf's Floridian gated communities, marked the start of a gruelling week for Tiger Woods.
It was only eight days since he had hobbled out of the WGC Championship, when overhead cameras dramatically charted his drive away from Doral.
Now it is time to prove the diagnosis of a 'mild' left Achilles strain was accurate and that Woods has fully recovered in time to make sure he is in perfect shape for the Masters.
Ernie Els needs a top-two finish at Bay Hill to extend his run of Masters appearances to 19. Photo: Getty
He came through his initial 18 holes at the Tavistock Cup unscathed. It was the first round of an exhaustive fitness test because by Sunday night he will hope to have completed 126 holes of golf.
Once the lucrative exercise of making the super-rich even more wealthy is completed at Lake Nona, Woods will head to Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The fourteen times major champion will play the Wednesday pro-am and then hope to complete all four rounds in his last competitive action before the first major of the year. Assuming he makes the cut he will play seven rounds in seven days.
Certainly the signs are encouraging so far and Woods seems to have reaped the rewards of a prudent withdrawal after 11 holes of his final round at Doral.
"I've done it before and played through not just pain, but injury and set myself back quite a bit," he admitted.
"That's what I did last year and missed two major championships because of it. I want to be ready for Augusta."
If there is any enduring concern it is that Woods' latest injury setback occurred doing nothing more than playing golf.
This was also the case a year ago when he hurt his left knee at the Masters, rushed back for the Players' Championship and ended up missing the US Open and Open.
That's what makes this extended week of competitive golf so valuable for the former world number one. If he comes through it unscathed he will be ideally placed for a week honing his skills ahead of Augusta.
And at least he can prepare in the certainty of his Masters eligibility. As a former champion it is there for life but the same privilege doesn't exist for a two-times runner-up like Ernie Els.
The famous Green Jacket has never sat on the broad shoulders of the South African and now he is in acute danger of not even making the journey to the first major of the year.
Currently ranked 62nd in the world, the three times major winner is likely to need a top two finish here at Bay Hill this week to make it into the world's top 50 in time to clinch Masters eligibility.
Els has played 18 consecutive Augusta tournaments and there have been calls for him to receive a special invitation to compete.
Traditionally the Augusta National has extended invitations to overseas players but that was a process that began before the official world rankings offered a barometer of a golfer's standing.
Greg Norman was invited for the 2002 event but his standing as the ultimate Augusta nearly man was far greater than Els, even though he was runner up in 2000 and 2004 in a period when he never finished outside the top six.
As a fully active American-based PGA Tour player Els is not short of routes into the Masters field. The fact that he has been unable to find one so far tells its own story.
The South African's errant putting down the stretch at last week's Transitions Championship cost him the chance of the win that would have had him Augusta-bound.
A stroke clear with two to play, Els didn't make the play-off won by Luke Donald in the Englishman's last competitive outing before the Masters.
Donald, who has gone back to the top of the world rankings, can complete his Masters preparations full of confidence and so can the man he deposed as world number one, Rory McIlroy.
The WGC event in Miami earlier this month was the Northern Ireland youngster's final outing before the Masters and he likes plenty of downtime before competing for a major title.
There is no such luxury for Woods, who hopes he will feel in similar mood come the end of this exhausting week.
Requiring rather more optimism, so does Els. If he can bounce back and earn the required finish at Bay Hill, the one they call the Big Easy will be well worth his place in the Augusta field.