In the one week Tiger Woods had away from golf during the FedEx Cup playoffs, Nick Faldo said he had lost his aura, Greg Norman said he was intimidated by Rory McIlroy and Johnny Miller claimed that Woods once wanted lessons from him.
"Nice week, huh?" Woods said, grinning.
Even better was to be back on the course Thursday at the Tour Championship, where Woods had the final word for at least for one day.
He kept the ball in play at Atlanta's East Lake, chipped in for one of his six birdies and wound up with a 4-under 66 for a share of the lead with Justin Rose.
It was the first step toward what Woods hopes is a third FedEx Cup title, and another $10 million bonus.
McIlroy, playing with Woods for the fifth time in these FedEx Cup playoffs, shot 1-under 69.
LPGA: Lexi Thompson made a little more history in the Navistar LPGA Classic (Prattville, Ala.), opening her title defense with a career-best 9-under 63 to match the tournament record.
Last year, Thompson became the youngest champion in LPGA Tour history at age 16, winning by five strokes. Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko broke the record last month in the Canadian Women's Open.