Tiger's back on the prowl with Ryder Cup in his sights
The spiralling interest in the Ryder Cup means the biennial golf showpiece hardly needs hyping up but the stunning return to form of Tiger Woods, culminating in his first tournament victory for five years on Sunday, has undoubtedly added some extra French frisson to the event starting in Paris on Friday.
Europe's top player Justin Rose finished in a share of fourth at the PGA Tour Championship to scoop the $10 million FedEx prize but all eyes were on Woods, who has overcome four back surgeries and very public personal drama to return to the top of the game.
A year ago he could barely walk, let along swing a club and few if any thought he would ever get close to the form that saw him bestride the game for so long.
"My body was a wreck, I was beyond playing. I couldn't walk, I couldn't lay down without feeling the pain in my back and leg," Woods said on Sunday looking back to his situation before he underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017.
"It's been an unbelievable season from beginning to end and I appreciate it much more now than 20 years ago."
He now heads to Paris as part of a U.S. team seeking to win overseas for the first time since 1993.
Although his ranking was so low he needed a captain's pick to make the team, his recent surge in form and confidence means that he will undoubtedly be one of the focal points of Jim Furyk's team and the man the fans at the Le Golf National will want to follow.
The irony, however, is that Woods' Ryder Cup record is awful.
In seven appearances he has been on the winning team once, and that was back in 1999. Though his singles record is strong, in foursomes and fourballs he has won nine, lost 16 and halved one.
Finding a partner for Woods was always a challenge for successive U.S. captains for various reasons but this time, with Woods back after missing the previous two editions, there is likely to be a longer queue with their hand up than in previous years.
"His competitiveness is growing week by week and his rapport with fellow team members will be stronger."
Current captain Thomas Bjorn, who had some memorable battles with Woods as a player, also welcomed his return.