Over the last few tournaments, Tiger Woods appearances at the Masters Golf Tournament have been more like a journeyman pro than a 14-time major champion.

He’s missed three out of the last four.

Tiger is back, this year, and there’s a buzz. Good news travels fast. 

Michael Lester was on the prowl at Augusta National, Tiger Hunting. 

“It’s unreal to have the big cat back right now,” said Lester. “He’s playing real well right now and he’s the favorite.”

Tiger’s name is back on the scoreboard at the Masters and that’s something to talk about. 

Bubba Watson:  “Keep talking about Tiger Woods,” says 2-time Masters Champion, Bubba Watson. “Interview him all the time, tire him out. Nah, you know it’s fun.”

“Are you tired of talking about Tiger?” I asked 3-time champ, Nick Faldo.

“His presence here is going to be huge this week,” said Faldo. “Unbelievably he’s found a way to be competitive”

“It’s great that he’s back playing and playing well,” said 2013 champion, Adam Scott. “No one really knew how it would go. He’s played really nicely.”

“We all know that he kind of drove the needle, but he’s more than that. He is the needle,” said 1998 champion Mark O’Meara. “When he plays professional golf and he plays at a level we are used to seeing him play, people watch.”

“When he comes out he draws so many people, the price of the tickets have gone up. We need him to play well,” said the Black Knight himself, Gary Player.

Near the course you find the hospitality houses, where they think very well of Tiger.

“It’s a benefit for everybody in Augusta,” says Ram Silverman. “It’s not just the hospitality, it’s on the badge end. It’s pretty much the whole nine yards. It makes a big difference. Masters is always good, better when he’s here.”

“What would be your excitement level be if Tiger wins a Green Jacket Sunday?” I asked. 

“I don’t think words could even describe it.”

No one is just going to hand Tiger Woods his fifth Green jacket. He’s going to have to earn it against a very strong field.

But he’s back at the Masters and that’s a start.