It’s all getting decidedly Burnsian in the flooery, figurative procedure of newspaper production here at The Herald.

“Ae fond kiss and then we sever, the Tuesday column, alas, forever,” muttered the sports editor with a stifled yawn as he mulled wearily over my weekly back page proposal during morning conference.

The fact we both got swept along by all these Rabbie references and proceeded to lean awkwardly over the desk for that aforementioned and spontaneous fond kiss resulted in the pair of us bolting hysterically from the editorial meeting room like a panic-stricken Tam O’Shanter careering away from the witches.

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Yes, the process of committing a variety of ponderings to print can often be a pitiful, prolonged palaver of warring sighs, groans and occasional heart-wrung tears.

It resembles the gasps, wheezes and outpourings Tiger Woods made when his agonised hirplings and hobblings were causing him all sorts of anguish during his ill-fated comeback this time 12 months ago. Here in 2018, he’s back in competitive action again this week as the new golfing year continues its fascinating narrative.

There has been plenty to stir the senses, of course. In the transatlantic posturing and pouting that tends to go on in a Ryder Cup year, the weekend wins by Sergio Garcia in Singapore, Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi and Jon Rahm in California saw Europe’s golfers, who were all decked out in Tiger-esque Sunday red, perform the kind of muscle flexing you’d get at the International Bodybuilding Federation’s end-of-year drinks and nibbles reception. Rory McIlroy’s purposeful return, meanwhile, bolstered this show of strength.

It was perhaps fitting that the swashbuckling Spaniard Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge the other night as the career he is building for himself continues to be something quite astonishing. At Torrey Pines this week, Rahm will defend his Farmers Insurance Open title amid the hoopla of Tiger’s re-emergence.

It will be an intriguing contrast. Rahm, the 23-year-old who is on the kind of explosive upward trajectory that would’ve left scorch marks on the Cape Canaveral launch pad, has thundered up to No 2 in the world from the placing of 551st he had when he turned pro after his amateur swansong in the US Open of 2016.

Woods, on the other hand, returns to a Torrey Pines course he once held a tyrannical rule over during his pomp having won eight times at this happy hunting ground, a haul which included the last of his 14 majors wins in the 2008 US Open.

While Rahm has been rampaging up the world rankings over the past two years, Woods, who is down in 647th place on the global pecking order, has spent much of that time lying on his back and the game has moved on without him. The Tiger still moves the needle of fascination, though.

After his win on Sunday, Rahm suggested that his success “puts a little bit more on me” in terms of focus heading to Torrey Pines. “Even though I’m the defending champion, I’d hoped it (the focus) was going to be on Tiger the whole week and they would leave me alone,” he noted. It will be fair to say that Rahm will probably still get his wish.

Even those who don’t really give two hoots about golf – yes, even those folk who voted golf as the most boring sport to watch in that poll the other week – are, by and large, interested by the prospect of comeback No 112 or whatever it is.

Many of Woods’s fellow pros have confidently stated that he will serve up more than just glimpses of his former genius. But it’s asking a lot of him to come bounding out of the blocks this week. Unlike the comfortable exhibition of the Hero World Challenge at the end of the year, the robust, full-blown PGA Tour environment of Torrey Pines will provide a thoroughly rigorous examination of his body and his mind, both of which bear the scars of a torrid period.

Like the hungry young ‘uns at the top of the game, though,Woods still clearly retains a great appetite for competition. Once that goes, the comebacks really will be over.