PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Golfers across Palm Beach County were reacting Tuesday to the news that Tiger Woods will be teeing it up at this weekend's Masters.
Woods, a Jupiter Island resident, has been at Augusta National for several days practicing and testing out his surgically repaired right leg.
His presence on the course has drawn a large crowd just days before the start of tournament play Thursday.
Out on the range at the John Prince Golf Learning Center near Lake Worth Beach on Tuesday, there seemed to be plenty of Woods fans excited about the announcement.
"Tiger playing in the Masters is going to be history again," said Jim Ward, who was practicing golf shots at the learning center.
"It's great for golf. I'm thrilled," local golfer Shaun Coller said. "I just think it's the best thing for golf."
The return of Woods is no small accomplishment, mounting a comeback from a catastrophic crash more than a year ago and now aiming to play on golf's greatest stage.
"It's great to be back and be able to feel the energy and the excitement of the patrons again," Woods said during a Tuesday news conference.
Ken Kennerly, the executive director of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, said Woods is not coming back for any victory laps.
He's there to win and feed off the confidence he's gained from playing and practicing in Palm Beach County since his injury.
"I think what he took from practicing in Florida, and this is just an assumption now, I think what he took from practicing here, walking courses, albeit flat, he took that and said, 'Let's go up to Augusta and let's give it a whirl,'" Kennerly said.
Kennerly just returned from Augusta on Monday and said his insiders are telling him that Woods looks very good.
After Tuesday's announcement, golfing legend Jack Nicklaus posted on Instagram that he was "delighted" to hear that Woods is going to play this weekend.
Nicklaus said Woods' decision to play only reinforced the drive and work ethic that one of the game's greatest players has always possessed.
Kennerly said Woods' popularity is still strong and unmatched around the world.
"I've never experienced anyone as popular. Michael Jordan is maybe almost close to him and Muhammad Ali," Kennerly said.
He called Woods' comeback astonishing following the serious wreck last year.
"It's absolutely remarkable that an athlete is able to overcome what he has overcome," Kennerly said. "If there is anyone able to do this and defy all odds, it's going to be Tiger Woods."