He looked like the same Tiger Woods, head down as he walked along the first fairway at the Masters, no one suspecting the jangled nerves he felt from taking his golf public for the first time since his private life unraveled.
One fan called out, "Welcome back, Tiger." Instead of ignoring him as he has done so often, Woods turned toward the man with a wave and a smile.
"To be out there in front of the people, where I have done some things that are just horrible, and for the fans to really want to see me play golf again ... I mean, that felt great," Woods said on Monday. "That really did."
Then came another tense moment _ facing the media for the first time since he was exposed for cheating on his wife. He dodged questions with rehearsed answers, refused to go into details about the therapy he sought or the state of his marriage, except that his wife won't be at Augusta National this week. But there was a touch of humility and patience in his voice during a 35-minute press conference. He even tried to call every writer by name.
"I need to be a better man going forward than I was before," he said. "And just because I've gone through treatment doesn't mean it stops. I'm trying as hard as I possibly can each and every day to get my life better and better and stronger. And if I win championships along the way, so be it."
Woods, a four-time champion who hasn't hit a shot that mattered since Nov. 15, is not at the Masters simply to make amends. "Going to go out there and try to win this thing," he said.