And, considering his history, who are we to argue? "I felt that anticipation and that hype, and I almost built it up in my head a little bit too much", he said. Many doubted his ability to play his best again-myself included. Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters champion, has been at his side for all of them, and he didn't see much different from 10 years ago.
One of the appeals of The Masters Tournament is the amount of tradition the tournament carries. Consider what that means. He's had four wins here.
And yet, we bring you 2018 - and what could happen. His game is sharp after winning a World Golf Championship event in Mexico. "I have never been a part of this week where there's been any more excitement". Long respected by his peers as the greatest player of his generation, he now has formed relationships with them.
Tiger Woods practises for the Masters on April 4.
Ghim qualified as the runner-up at the U.S. Amateur last summer at Riviera. Does the world not remember him draining putts down the stretch at the British Open previous year?
Familiarity is supposed to breed contempt.
"It's the flawless golf tournament", Rory McIlroy said.
McIlroy is very mindful of the history around this place.
Woods hit three balls into the gallery and another into the water at Augusta National's famed, three-hole signature section.
"I don't think there's one clear-cut favorite", Woods said.
Phil Mickelson may be 47 but he's playing like a guy in his 20s so far this year. So when Phil Mickelson, the second most successful contemporary of Tiger's, sporting 43 wins, 5 majors, and induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, expresses gratitude to Woods, it's apparent why.
"I come here with one goal, and that is to win the tournament", McIlroy said. Take one overriding factor. Ernie Els, who took over the mantle of South Africa's greatest golfer from Gary Player will be missed this year as he has lost all his qualifying credentials. Now, with Woods returning to the Masters fold for the first time since 2015, when he tied for 17th, Nike is commemorating his 21st appearance at Augusta National with a highlight video through the years. Throw in his past two results - second in Tampa, fifth in Orlando, in contention on the back nine on Sunday both times - and he faces expectations like he did in his prime. They resurfaced a few of the greens, but they still look like they've been there for 100 years.
"Last year I was about as confident as I've ever been, so it was probably a 10", he said when asked to compare his confidence level on a scale of 1 to 10. Spieth, who seemed to get untracked by finishing third in Houston.
Still, it left him 3 over in the opening round at the Masters and seven shots behind leader and playing partner Marc Leishman. I think that that's helped me kind of settle in and not overthink things out here and get into a nice groove, and it's led to some success at this event.
So the stage is set.
To say that this year's Masters is wide open would be an understatement. Familiarity, in this case, breeds fondness. Golf Monthly explains: "Until the 1983 US Masters tournament, all the caddies at the Masters were provided by the host club, Augusta National".