Tiger Woods shakes hands with golfer Jim Furyk. (April 4,...

Tiger Woods shakes hands with golfer Jim Furyk. (April 4, 2010) Credit: AP

"Hello world."

Those were the famous words with which Tiger Woods announced that he was turning pro in September 1996. Listeners could not help being drawn in by such a bold, clever, crisp, original phrase.

They found out a few days later that "Hello world" had been planned all along as the hub of a massive advertising campaign by Nike. So much for originality.

As Woods prepares to say hello again to a new world today, when he will appear at Augusta National for his first news conference since the scandal of his personal life broke in November, it is worth recalling some of Woods' most memorable words.

The truth is, there have not been all that many. A search for pithy insight only affirms the perception that Woods never has been the type to shoot from the hip. His achievements always have done his best talking, and his peers and the media have supplied the superlatives.

For instance, after Woods' first win at the Masters in 1997, Tom Watson said, "He might be the type of player who comes around [once] in a millennium."

On the eve of that win, when Colin Montgomerie was asked if Woods might squander a huge lead as Greg Norman had done against Nick Faldo the previous year, Montgomerie responded: "All I have to say is one brief comment. There is no chance humanly possible that Tiger Woods is going to lose this tournament. No way. Nick Faldo's not lying second, for a start, and Greg Norman's not Tiger Woods."

Woods prefers to be more low-key and matter-of-fact in his statements. Here is a sampling of his comments over the years:

"Yes. I was pretty tired after walking 36 holes [Monday]." - As a 19-year-old amateur in his first Masters, when asked if Augusta had taken his breath away.

"On my father's side, I am African-American. On my mother's side, I am Thai. Truthfully, I feel very fortunate and equally proud to be both African-American and Asian." - Statement at 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, responding to questions about his heritage.

"I didn't have my 'A' game. All the cylinders weren't pumping correctly. I was scraping it around." - After winning the 1997 GTE Byron Nelson Classic (a line mockingly repeated by Brad Faxon after a round a month later).

"Hey, you can't write this." - To Esquire writer Charlie Pierce in 1997 after having told some bawdy jokes that he assumed were off the record. Pierce's reply: "Too late." The jokes appeared in the profile.

"They're entitled to set up their own rules the way they want them. It would be nice to see everyone have an equal chance to participate if they wanted to, but there is nothing you can do about it." - To a question in 2002 about Augusta National not allowing women members.

"Nine and eight . . . Nine and eight." - After repeated questions about pre-match remarks by Stephen Ames regarding Woods' erratic driving. Woods routed Ames, 9 and 8.

"After I saw where the ball was, I thought I had an opportunity to put the ball inside of Chris', which was about 15 feet. And to be honest with you, that was all I was trying to do. Obviously, it turned out a little bit better than that." - On the chip-in at No. 16 that helped him hold off Chris DiMarco and win the 2005 Masters.

"It just came pouring out . . . all the things that my father has meant to me and the game of golf, and I just wish he could have seen it one more time." - After breaking down in tears after winning the 2006 British Open, his first major title after Earl Woods' death.

"It was disgusting behavior. As a person, it's hard to believe that was me, looking back on it now." - In a Golf Channel interview with Kelly Tilghman, alluding to his affairs.

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