"I don't know what to expect", Woods said Wednesday - and that applies not only to his own game but also to the young rivals like defending tournament champion Jon Rahm who have surged to the forefront as Woods recovered from spinal fusion surgery past year. "I think his swing is really nice, he's hitting the driver a long way and he looks like he's got some speed", said the 30-year-old.
'Just having him back in the conversation is huge for golf.
What Rahm craves is what a lot of the younger generation of players want: a piece of Woods when he's playing at his best.
Oddsmakers are casting a far more wary eye than his hopeful fans at Woods' possible performance at the site of eight pro victories for him.
He wants to get back to that level.
"I don't know what the number is going to be. I just need to get my game to where it's like that again", he said.
But as he did last month when he played at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods admitted that pain was constant during his previous comebacks.
However, Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who has had a volatile relationship with Woods over the years, sounded a note of caution over the American's return. While Woods has had plenty of success at this course over the years, not much of it has been recent.
Lahiri has already played most of the golf courses on the PGA TOUR. I don't think so. It's Tiger freaking Woods and we don't know how many more of these opportunities we'll have. As exciting as it is to see one of the greatest players of all time teeing it up again in competition, how much does he really have left?
While Woods was once a legendary player, he's 42 years old now.
"The other time he came back, I don't think he was ready and he probably came back too soon". "Before that, I saw him at the Presidents Cup and he was kind of downtalking his chances and so on. Moving to their golf ball was a big factor, and I was amazed at how good the new 2018 ball, the Chrome Soft X, performs".
"I've won a pretty decent tournament now".
World No 6 Rose, 37, is kicking himself after his streak of ten successive top-ten finishes ended with a share of 22nd behind fellow Englishman Tommy Fleetwood at last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
"You wake up and you've got to warm up a little bit more, stretch a little bit more, because your body doesn't move quite as well", said the Englishman, who unlike Woods has not had to deal with a serious back injury and multiple surgeries. "I met Jon (Rahm) this week for the first time".
"I feel like I've got a bit of a spring back in in my step because of what happened last week and very confident in myself". Here are some golfers we like to contend for the win.
Incredibly, the Spaniard turns up here this week as world number two - this time previous year he was 137th. Rahm said after winning last week.
His victory at the 2013 Farmers Insurance Open was one of five wins that year. "The goals are still the same: trying to keep improving and getting better in all aspects of the game". A course-record 62 gave him a one-shot lead after 54 holes and he held off a challenge by Billy Ray Brown on Sunday, eagling the final hole to win by two. It doesn't work like that.
"There are times when it is easy to go out there and shoot 65s".