MARANA, Ariz. -- One year ago this week, Tiger Woods sent the world of golf, or at least a bunch of its chroniclers, into a mad scramble to get to Ponte Vedra, Fla., in time to catch a staged event that was more of a media culpa than a mea one.
Viewed at the time as, in part, a stick in the eye to the title sponsor, Accenture, that had been quick to sever its relationship with Woods, the spot immediately outside the locker room door at the Ritz-Carlton GC became a gauntlet for the elite field of players put in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions about a man who wouldn't answer questions for himself.
A year later, in virtually that same spot, a grounds crew of three set the world land speed record for erecting a dais from which Woods could re-enter the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship with a few words about, well, nothing in particular.
His game is coming along. No doubt. He's glad to be back. It's been a couple of years. His game was exposed in the wind in Dubai. He likes match play. Incorporating new movements takes time. He's looking forward to winning golf tournaments again.
Just before Woods arrived, Matt Kuchar pulled up in a plain, white transportation van from the Ritz-Carlton up the hill. "Wrong guy, huh?" Kuchar said as he strolled past the semi-circle of video recorders staked out on tripods to bake in the desert sun.
Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
-- Jim Moriarty