Golf is, necessarily, about numbers.
Tiger Woods' number on an overcast Thursday at the Farmers Insurance Open was 68.
On the more exacting Torrey Pines South course -- which played two shots harder than the shorter North -- a round of 4-under par represented a very good start for Woods. He has won seven times here but none since the scandal.
Even though Woods could have shot much lower -- he had six birdies and an eagle -- only four players on the South bettered him, which left Woods satisfied despite a sloppy finish.
"A 68 on the South," he declared, "Is a good number."
But there was more to Thursday's round than just a number. For stretches, Woods looked, dare it be said, like the Old Tiger. And it wasn't just his play that said so, but his demeanor.
When he was at his best, he carried an aura of imperiousness. He was never in any doubt as to whether he would play well; the only question was how well.
Since the scandal, that self-assuredness hasn't been as obvious.