Tiger is finally going to face the media. Not not the controlled media that he's been able to put together his last two trips in front of a microphone, but a full-blown, shark (media) infested room full of questions he can't control.
Gone is his ability to limit what questions are asked. Gone are the time limits he set on ESPN and the Golf Channel. Gone are Tiger's ability to duck the uncomfortable questions.
What isn't gone is Tiger's ability to not answer the questions he doesn't want to answer. Make no mistake about it, the media that will pack themselves into the Masters' press conference room and will waste their breath on questions they know Tiger won't answer.
While they know he won't answer questions like, "Tiger, is your marriage staying together?" you better believe they'll ask the question anyway for two reasons. The first is because they just want to be able to say, "Yeah, I asked him that," and the second is so they can say, "He needs to answer our question," long after Tiger has already walked away. It's the sense of entitlement they feel; they can't help it.
You see, the media thinks they're bigger than anyone or anything out there. They believe they are owed an explanation on just about everything, regardless of the fact that everyone but them believes it to be private.
So, when Tiger walks into the press room, the firing squad will officially load their microphones and aim them for what's sure to be a completely uncomfortable press conference. He's sure to be asked about his personal life, the night of the accident, his many indiscretions, and how he'll be received by the fans and fellow players.
Not many media members will want to know, or really care, about how Tiger plans to carry himself through the biggest tournament in the sport. They won't care what strategy he has, if any, to keep himself in contention all four days. They certainly won't care how fans will react to him if he's leading on Sunday.
They want every detail that isn't about the tournament he's about to play in. Regardless of what they think they're owed, they're not going to get anything other than, "That's a private matter," from him.
That's who Tiger is, that's how he's always handled private questions. It shouldn't be a shock to anyone, especially the media that's been there since he burst on to the scene at the 1997 Masters.
What Tiger will do is focus only on the questions that involve the tournament itself and what he thinks his chances are. Tiger can't be consumed by the "what ifs" and "what could bes." All Tiger needs to do is focus on the task at hand and the golf course in front of him.
The fans will receive him exactly the way they want to receive him, and there's nothing he can do about that. His fellow players may give him the cold shoulder, yet it won't be the first time and it certainly won't be the last.
There are players that wish he wouldn't have picked this tournament to make his return. There are some that probably didn't want him to come back at all, yet here he is.
Regardless of the personal problems that Tiger has had over the past months, or even years, he's back to play the sport that made him who he is. He's back to dominate the sport that he's spent so much time dominating. He's back to prove to himself, to his fans and even those that despise him, that despite his problems he's still Tiger Woods and he's still the best golfer on the course.
Tiger is back for one reason and one reason alone: To win.