Is Tiger back?

He didn't win the Masters — but did the golf legend hack his way out of the PR rough?

Tiger Woods watches a shot on the fourth hole of the games.
(Image credit: Corbis)

Tiger Woods' golf comeback wasn't as triumphant as he'd hoped. While he finished fourth at the Masters and wowed commentators with flashes of his pre-scandal brilliance, tabloid-style dramas were never far away — an alleged ex-mistress was stripping in a green jersey at a nearby gentlemen's club, a new Nike ad had reviewers retching, and a Cessna flew over the golf course towing taunting banners. Amidst all the adversity, did Woods pull out a PR victory?

What didn't kill Woods made him stronger: Tiger's "five months of awfulness" have left him "diminished in some ways," says Bill Elliott in The Guardian. But not on the golf course. Yes, his marriage is still "anchored somewhere between hell and a divorce court," but "Woods is back in control" on the links.

"Tiger Woods is back on course after fighting his way out of the dark"

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He's back, but his golf game isn't: Tiger's "rusty golf game" meant there was at least one thing he couldn't do: Win, says Chip Towers in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Still, "a week that began with people wondering what’s wrong with his love life ended with them wondering what’s wrong with his game" — and that must leave Woods with "a feeling of mission accomplished."

"Tiger Woods: 'I enter events to win and I didn't'"

A win is a win: If his mission was a PR victory, he got that, says Adam K. Raymond in New York Magazine. According to online buzz monitor Zeta Interactive, "all Tiger Woods had to do to get people back on his side was whack a few golf balls." His approval rating rose to 69 percent Friday, from 51 percent before the Masters.

"Tiger Woods wins America back by playing golf"

The same-old Tiger isn't a good thing: "Puh-leeze," people, says Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel. Woods is back, but anyone expecting a "new, improved Tiger" was disappointed. He still curses when he hits poorly, and he "still tolerates fans more than he embraces them." Apparently "it’s very difficult, if not impossible, for a Tiger to ever change its stripes."

"Tiger Woods will never be as beloved as Phil Mickelson"

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