This time last week, the world of golf was so euphorically giddy at the prospect of the Masters, it was if it had just gulped down half a bottle of Prosecco on an empty stomach.

Tiger was going to do this, Tiger was going to do that and Tiger might do a bit of the other. In fact, the re-emergence of old Tiger at Augusta National was rammed down our throats with such unrelenting force, you may as well have sat back on the sofa, opened your mouth and let the entire golf media industry stampede into your thrapple.

Of course, this correspondent is a fine one to talk. I was part of this rampaging, hysterical bandwagon, after all, gleefully churning out wild, Woods-related exultation with the pounding, finger-jabbing industry of Angela Lansbury clattering off a leather-bound novel in the opening credits of Murder She Wrote.

The idea of Woods winning the Masters in his first full-blown competitive outing since that shattering plunge into a roadside ditch 14 months ago was preposterous. But when he declared with a glint in his eye last Tuesday that a win was possible, we all took leave of our senses. He couldn’t, could he? Let’s face it, Woods’ career has been defined by stretching the boundaries of what has been assumed possible.

In the end, reality brought all and sundry plummeting back to earth with the kind of hefty dunt that Icarus endured. Woods still provided compelling theatre, though. Getting to the first tee on Thursday and piecing together a one-under round was a significant triumph in itself. Making the cut was another milestone. And completing 72-holes, with his face occasionally rumpled in so much pain he just about needed a Corby trouser press to flatten out the creases, was a mighty conquest.

The aura remains undimmed. The legend, despite all those well-documented infidelities and the flaws, has been enhanced.

Watching Woods blow his rivals away during his majestic prime was an absorbing spectacle. Seeing him hobble, hirple and heave himself through the aches over the weekend, with the sheer bloody-mindedness of an ersit cuddy, made for pretty heroic viewing too. In the circumstances, we probably saw more than we had any right to reasonably expect. And, my goodness, the expectations were ridiculous.

Woods’ defiant, tenacious limp to the recorder’s hut on Sunday afternoon, amid a rapturous ovation, will be another enduring Tiger image, like the hug with his dad, Earl, after that 12-shot Masters romp 25 years-ago or the sweeping embrace with his children in the same spot when he won in 2019.

Woods remains the game’s blessing and its curse. His presence brings exposure like nothing else. But it also overshadows everything else. “He’s bloody writing about Woods again, Doreen,” I hear some reader hiss through clenched teeth. We’ve said it before – in fact just last week – but golf is not ready to let go of Woods. And Woods is not ready to let go of golf either.

So, let’s move swiftly on. In this frenzied old world of ours, perhaps we all need to be a bit more like Scottie Scheffler. While Tiger’s every cough, wheeze and snort at Augusta brought fawning reverence that just about had drooling observers quaking uncontrollably in the foetal position, Scheffler was composure personified. Never too up, never too down, just calm, level-headed middle ground.

The great Gene Sarazen once observed that, “you don’t come to Augusta to find your game, you come here because you’ve got one.” Scheffler certainly demonstrated that as his stunning surge of success continued. Six weeks ago, he had yet to win on the PGA Tour. The 25-year-old now has four wins, including a maiden major. Talk about striking when the irons – and other clubs – are hot. By any measure, it’s a quite phenomenal run of results. 

Putting the finishing touches to his Masters win with a four-putt was one of major championship golf’s more bizarre finales but he had earned the cushion with a wonderfully resilient display of front-running during which he pulled off the perfect shots for the moments he needed them most.

In this era of impatience, we are always looking to anoint the next great thing. Scheffler’s arm was barely in a sleeve of the green jacket and already folk were wondering how many more majors he could win.

As we all know, though, predictions in this game tend to be a fool’s errand. Did you ever think, for instance, that when Rory McIlroy won his fourth major in 2014 he’d still be waiting to add another eight years later?

Scheffler has a canny head on his shoulders. “I’ve never been a guy that likes to look too far into the future,” he said. “For me, just staying present has always been what works best for me." 

Wise words, Scottie. Even us crude amateurs know that getting too far ahead of ourselves in this pursuit of wildly fluctuating fortunes can have some chaotic consequences.

As Masters champion, Scheffler will be the centre of attention at next month’s US PGA Championship. Well, unless Tiger turns up. By that stage, though, someone else may have hit a sizzling streak and we could see another first-time major winner emerge.

That’s the wonderfully unpredictable nature of this endlessly fascinating old game.