Everyone is watching, everyone is curious, and Jordan Spieth had the perfect view of Tiger Woods for his return to golf.
Spieth was on the 17th green and looked across a narrow pond to the ninth tee at Albany Golf Club where Woods stood over his tee shot during the Wednesday pro-am. He saw the swing, but he lost sight of the ball in the glare of the tropical sun.
"Where did it go?" Spieth said as he tried to gauge where the ball might land. "Not in the fairway."
He looked again.
"Whoa! There it is - WAY down there," he said. "Damn."
The shots and the score don't count until Thursday at the Hero World Challenge with an 18-man field, small but strong. Woods is playing for the first time in 465 days. The expectations have rarely been this varied. The interest is as high as ever.
"He's the only person ... in the last 30 years in golf that any expectation you set, he'll somehow prove to you that he can do better," Spieth said. "But I think with this, I just hope that everyone gives him time. I hope he has the time to fall into a rhythm and just get enough tournaments where he can kind of build up that seeing the shots under competition, under the gun.
"You can look back 10 years at shots you hit. It's not the same as looking back the week before on a positive swing."
Woods last played on Aug. 23, 2015, when he closed with a 70 at the Wyndham Championship to fall out of contention and tie for 10th. Two back surgeries followed, leaving him so debilitated at times that he wondered if he would ever play.
He tees off at high noon in the Bahamas with Patrick Reed, who idolized his golf so much as a teenager that he wears black pants and a red shirt on Sunday.
Reed is but one example of the golf landscape to which Woods returns, one of seven players in the 18-man field who were not even on tour when Woods last won a major at the 2008 U.S. Open. Another is Russell Knox, who said recently, "My short career will never be over until I play with Tiger Woods."
It was only three years ago that Woods won five times and was PGA Tour player of the year. That still wasn't the dominance he once had over the game, for he finished in the top 10 only 53 percent of the time, his lowest rate in a dozen years.
Woods had five or more victories 11 times in a span of 13 seasons.