Woods dominates agenda once again
Word first surfaced a couple of weeks ago that Tiger Woods was considering a return in the week of the WGC Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain - and the story has proved correct.
Yes, Woods has not teed it up here at Dove Mountain, but he has resurfaced and with sufficient impact to completely overshadow the event backed by his former sponsors Accenture - the company that was most damning of the world number one when it dropped him.
It's 82 days since Woods' car crash that precipitated his private life being paraded through the media. Bar a couple of statements confirming "transgressions" and "infidelity" early in the affair, there's been nothing. He disappeared from public view and left the world to guess his next move.
Until, that is, the first day of the Match Play and precisely the moment the morning wave of first-round matches were coming to their climax. That was when he broke cover and started to let us back into his life.
According to his agent, Mark Steinberg, Woods plans to "discuss his past and his future and he intends to apologise for his behaviour".
His website, which has also just burst back into life, goes a little further, saying: "While Tiger feels that what happened is fundamentally a matter between him and his wife, he also recognises that he has hurt and let down a lot of other people who were close to him. He also let down his fans. He wants to begin the process of making amends, and that's what he's going to discuss."
Tiger Woods was pictured jogging on the day his return to public life was announced
It will be a carefully controlled event. This is Woods taking a grip once more, reasserting his influence. He's already stolen the headlines from the first event of the year, which brings together all of the world's best players. He'll do it again on Friday when he speaks.
"I suppose he might want to get something back against the sponsor that dropped him," Rory McIlroy half-jokingly suggested in an unguarded comment when news of Woods returning to the public arena was put to him.
McIlroy was speaking in a news conference that followed his victory over Kevin Na. He'd come from four down after six holes, and it was the first question he was asked after the standard preliminaries.
Furthermore, his honest answer was removed from the initial transcripts handed out to reporters. Interesting.
"I'm sick of hearing about it and I'm just looking forward to when he's getting back on the golf course," McIlroy added.
When will that be? There's a lot of talk about a Woods appearance at the Tavistock Cup on 22 and 23 March. It's a made for television match between the players who live on the exclusive Isleworth and Lake Nona estates.
But that would mean teeing off his comeback within yards of the fateful crash that began his fall from grace.
Nevertheless, it would be a controlled environment, much like his "event" this Friday, with limited media access. He may come back to the Tour at Bay Hill on 25 March or he may wait until another carefully regulated environment, that of the Masters at Augusta in April.
We do not know, it is still all speculation and at least that should end on Friday. We'll try to keep an eye on the golf as well. Luke Donald putted well today, by the way.