Most sports writers agree: Tiger Woods's return to the Masters is a wise decision. If he wins, America will absolve him. If he loses, the event is big enough that other golfer stars will attract the spotlight. And if he wants to avoid the paparazzi, there's no better place. The Masters is famous for its airtight security and highly-restricted media access. So what makes Tiger's decision something less than a "masterful stroke"? Three things:

  • The Pressure Will Be Extraordinary, writes Jason Sobel at ESPN: "Woods is accustomed to living under a microscope, but never before has every aspect of his life -- from his words to his facial expressions, from his swing to his putting stroke -- been as heavily scrutinized as they will be during the next few weeks. There will be a critical eye toward his every single movement, from the minute he arrives at the golf course to the time he leaves."
  • Playing Now Undercuts the Apology He Issued, writes Rock Mamola at Chicago Now: "I believed Tiger when he stated that he felt the rules of life did not apply to him. I believed Tiger when he stated that he owes families across the nation (including ones who sought help with his foundation) an apology.  By announcing today that his return would be the Masters in Augusta, GA not six months after the crash heard round the world.....he truly was not sorry for anything."
  • The Masters Is Not the Place to Stage a Comeback, says Howard Clark, a former Ryder Cup player: "I think it would be advisable to come back and play somewhere like Bay Hill because he has won it so many times and played so well there... With him working so hard on his game recently we knew he was going to start soon, but I think everybody has been caught cold by this. We knew he'd be back for The Masters, but we thought he might have two or three, maybe four or five, rounds under his belt to play and get used to playing again."