News & ToursApril 6, 2010

Catch him while you can

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- If there was ever a concern about the health of the international camera industry, I recommend a trip to the practice rounds at Augusta National Golf Club. Or more to the point, I recommend a trip to the practice rounds at Augusta National Golf Club when the game's No. 1 player and most recognizable figure is returning from a five-month hiatus.

High-powered zoom lenses, state-of-the-art hand-held digital contraptions, $5 disposable point-and-clicks you buy as a throw-in with a pack of gum at Walgreen's -- they were all fixed en masse on Tiger Woods through every step of his tour of the golf course Tuesday morning.

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There's Tiger walking to the tee! There's Tiger at the top of his backswing. There's Tiger walking off after another mammoth drive, engrossed in a conversation with playing partner Mark O'Meara.

"Get ready," I heard one man say as Woods was approaching along the eighth fairway. "I'm going to say hello to him and he's going to smile at us."

A lofty ambition, for sure -- and one that actually went unrealized -- but the fact that it was even a thought is proof Woods has already made an impression in his interactions with galleries this week.

It is, as we've already discovered, a most peculiar historic event we are all witnessing, and one that apparently everyone is hoping to capture for posterity -- perhaps to share with their grandchildren one day. Just imagine that conversation.

"Look, here's Tiger Woods when he made his comeback at the Masters."

"Why did he make a comeback, Grandpa?"

"Well, because he took a break from the game."

"But why?"

"Because...well, you see....um... Let's see.....Hey, check out how small the drivers were back then!"

-- *Sam Weinman

(Photo by Getty Images)

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