At St Andrews on Tuesday, the most eagerly anticipated news conference the Old Course has hosted in years was packed to the rafters as Woods addressed the world's media for the first time on British soil since last year's tawdry revelations about his private life.
Wearing a grey sweater, black slacks and blue shirt, the greatest golfer of this or arguably any other era nervously sipped at a bottle of water, all too aware of the polite grilling he was about to endure.
Then a gulf as big as the Atlantic emerged among the press corps; the American journalists quizzing him on golf, the Europeans on his private life.
It is a measure of the spectacular, public unravelling of his life that the 14-times major winner is grilled not on his form or memories of St Andrews, where he has twice won British Opens and is gunning for the third, but on the impact a string of sexual dalliances has had on his approach on and off the course.
One reporter asked if he had fulfilled a self-imposed obligation to interact with the crowd more? "I have," he tersely deadpanned.
Another reporter asked if Woods' divorce had come through? "I'm not going into that," he replied.
Did his changed public image affect his chances here? "It doesn't impact on it at all," said the world number one.
Three times Woods repeated his mantra: "I'm just trying to be a better person".