Coming off a five-month layoff,with longtime buddy Fred Couples.
Massive crowds surrounded every hole - punctuated by bursts of applause and shouts from the crowd. It was an open, engaging side rarely shown by Woods, who uncharacteristically signed autographs and talked with fans.
Later Woods faced the invitation-only press conference head on, opening with a brief statement before taking dozens of no-holds-barred questions on everything from drug use to the depths of his secret, sordid life.
"I had to look at myself in a light I never wanted to look at myself," Woods said. "That was difficult."
During the 33-minute session Woods refused to talk specifics -- about the state of his marriage to wife Elin, who won't be at Augusta -- or why he spent 45 days in rehab.
"That's private, thank you," he said.
Otherwise, the four-time Masters champion opened a larger window into his life.
Woods revealed he played much of last year -- winning six tournaments -- despite tearing his Achilles tendon in December of '08 while recovering from knee surgery. Woods said he took the prescription drug Vicodin for pain but denied any addiction.
He admitted receiving treatment at his home from the controversial Canadian doctor Tony Galea, now under federal investigation for providing performance enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, to elite athletes.
"He came to my home, never gave me HGH," Woods said.
In addition, Woods added fresh detail on injuries he suffered -- including five stitches -- in the now-infamous auto accident.
"Busted up lip, pretty sore neck," he said.
And he promised to tone down his on-course temper and show more respect for game - even at expense of fist-pumping personality.
"I'm actually going to try obviously to not get as hot when I play," Woods said. "But then again, when I'm not as hot, I'm not going to be as exuberant, either."
Afterward, the reaction from those inside the press room - to fans and his fellow pros - gave Woods points for humility, if not complete honesty.
"I went into that room looking for a feast of a steak and baked potato and instead we got a souffle," said "Times of London" golf writer John Hopkins.
"I don't have animosity toward him," said a fan "Everyone makes mistakes. He seems to be in pretty good spirits from what I can see."
In the end, Woods said he just wanted to get back to what had made him great in the first place.
"When you're living a life, when you're lying all the time, life is not fun and that's where I was," he said. "Now that's been stripped away and here I am and it feels fun again."