Tiger Woods' first "real" press conference since his Thanksgiving accident took place at 2 p.m. ET on the Monday before the Masters, as the world's most famous golfer -- after practicing on the world's most famous golf course -- managed to make Opening Day of the MLB season irrelevant for quite a while.
The media line into the press room was described as "Disney World-like" despite Augusta limiting it to one entry per outlet, which meant that Woods likely wouldn't be able to get in and out too quickly.
That was most certainly the case as the press asked questions for more than a half-hour, ranging from things that involved Tiger's family, his prescription drug use, the "PED discussion," his sponsors, his management, his wife and, of course, the Masters.
Tiger addressed most of the questions -- at least the personal ones early on and all of the golf-related issues -- in a straightforward manner, appearing open and honest.
Report From Tiger's First Practice Round
Of course, there were one or two items that caused him to bristle: Tiger discussed how his treatment will be "ongoing" and when asked a follow-up as to why he was in treatment, came with a very short, "That's personal, thank you."
Additionally, when asked about both Ambien and Vicodin, Tiger seemed to waltz around the issue of addiction/abuse of either. Instead, he pinned his "pretty, um, interesting knee situations over the years" as well as the sickness and death of his father as the reasons for the prescribed medication.
But when asked if he received treatment for them, Tiger's head bowed a bit before he shook it back and forth while offering a rather unauthoritative "no."
It was, for all intents and purposes, the complete opposite of his previous public appearances, in that Tiger was, for the most part, honest.
He was immediately pressed about police reports and his injuries sustained from the wreck, stating that he suffered "a busted up lip and a pretty sore neck and that was it."
When asked why he didn't speak with the police between the accident and therapy, Woods avoided an opportunity to be flippant or secretive by pointing out that he "did everything to the letter of the law. My lawyer gave me some advice and I followed that advice."
Short and simple? Yes. But forthright, much like Tiger's willingness to discuss HGH or PED's, an issue that was out in the open after he addressed it at his first public apology. Woods stated that "Well, [Anthony Galea] did come to my house. He never gave me HGH or any 'peds.' I've never taken that in my entire life -- I've never taken any illegal drug for that matter."
Perhaps most interesting was Tiger's approach to the golf fans (specifically the ones following him for Monday's practice round at Augusta), calling their reception "incredible" before stating that he wanted to show them "more respect."
That seemed to tie in with Tiger's desire to show more respect to the game of golf itself, potentially hinting at blander emotional reactions on the course: "I'm actually going to try and not get as hot when I play. Then again, when I'm not as hot, I'm not as exuberant either. I can't play one without the other, so I've made a conscious decision to try and tone down my negative outbursts."
Whether that means a more robotic on-course Tiger remains to be seen, of course. What was clear at the press conference, though, was that Tiger is willing to be more "human" in his public dealings in order to move forward from the events of the past few months.
One of those emotional moments included when Tiger mentioned that he has achieved a greater balance in his life right now, having previously "lost [that balance]. I lost myself and my life in the process."
An additional moment of powerful emotion was Tiger's discussion of how his schedule with rehab caused him to miss a substantial family moment: "And having to go off from [Christmas Day] into treatment -- that was a very difficult time. And people probably don't realize it, but because of the time frame for that, I had to miss my son's first birthday. And that hurts. That hurts a lot. And, um, I vowed I'd never miss another one after that -- I can't go back to where I was."