By law, I cannot write the words that described the expression on Rory McIlroyâ€™s face as he stood on the first tee bemused to be where he was Sunday at Augusta, nor the words that bellowed out of Tiger Woodsâ€™ mouth as he capitalized on what then was a monumental eagle opportunity on the eighth hole.
All I can write is that they were the same word, something along the lines of â€œ****!â€
One word, two different stories.
But the more fascinating story lies with Woods, whose eagle on eight galvanized not only the crowd, but also the millions watching at home.
What began during Fridayâ€™s second round of the Masters was made conclusive Sunday: we want Tiger back.
As Woods awaited the result of his 280-yard 3-wood from the eighth fairway with a grit in his teeth and a vintage Tiger stare, we too, waited with uncertainty of what was about to happen.
The ball looked like it was drifting right, but then again, so does every golf shot on TV.
As the ball landed on the sloped right side of the green, hope (not certainty) that the ball would filter towards the hole crept into all of our minds.
As we all teetered on the edge of our seats, it did just that.
The ball trickled down to a near perfect position, eight feet below the hole for eagle. If Tiger sinks it, heâ€™s tied for the lead at the 2011 Masters.
We all knew that we wanted Tiger to make the eagle putt. We all knew that we would erupt when he did.
But we didnâ€™t know until after Tiger drifted into the clubhouse, never to reappear, what it actually meant.
Sure enough, Tiger sunk his putt, punched his fist ferociously through the air like the old days, and we went ballistic. This was an inspiring spectacle and no accident.
Subconsciously, we realized what it meant as we caught ourselves slapping the couch and blurting out obscenities as Tiger failed to capitalize on opportunities on 10 and 11, bogeyed 12 and couldnâ€™t salvage birdie on the par-5 13th – usually an automatic circle on the scorecard for Woods.
But we either couldnâ€™t admit it, or didnâ€™t want to.
Finally, Tiger left us with no choice when a seemingly automatic eagle putt lipped out on the par-5 15th. Not only were we deprived of a vintage Tiger moment, but a valiant effort became a quixotic attempt at victory.
All hope that Tiger would (not could) win was gone, and for the first time since November of 2009, we felt dissatisfied, and some of us saddened with the result.
As Tiger failed to vanquish Augusta and reclaim his coveted green jacket for the sixth year in a row, he may have defeated a challenge far greater: the public, the media, the fans, and his perception.
No longer will Tiger Woods justly be under siege by our cruel jokes and remarks. No longer will TV shows parody his failed marriage and drowning career.
No longer do we have the ability to chastise the man who galvanized us all for 13 years, and has begun to do so again.
While most rooted for Tiger to win Sunday, some rooted for him to lose. But, there is no question that everybody was rooting for that putt to drop on eight, and when it did, Tiger mattered again.
Tiger once again creates a crescendo of interest, is the crown jewel of the sport. For the first time in two years, we found ourselves with an insatiable appetite for Tiger Woods.
While it remains uncertain if Tigerâ€™s game truly is back, our love and need for him undoubtedly are, and so finally begins his comeback.