Tiger Woods is back.

Fully 301 days since he last hit a ball in competitive action, the 14-time major champion strode onto a tee box, let fly, and the internet suitably lost it.

I did too. Just in a different way.

This is a man who drew many away from mainstream sports and flock to our beloved game. He made kids yearn for golf clubs over the latest replica football shirts at Christmas.

I, like many my age, was one of those kids.

Watching a visibly pain-free Tiger once again caused a range of emotions for the golfing family.

But for me it was one of sentiment.

Until I saw that famous fist pump I’m not sure I realised how much affection I attach to Tiger.

This is a bloke that inspired me to pick up a golf club and drag my dad to the driving range where I’d practice my club twirl and scream after the ball.

When he gave me a high five at St Andrews in 2005 I was sold. I’m going to be a golfer.

Unfortunately my ability left a lot to be desired but my passion for the game remains as strong as ever and I, like many others, have Tiger to thank for that.

I am convinced no other sportsperson has transformed their profession quite as much as Tiger Woods but it is what he did for me that pulls on my heartstrings whenever I see a club in his hands.

It’s why when he was fist pumping birdie after birdie in the Bahamas I was right there cheering behind him.

Whether he completes what would be one of the greatest sporting comebacks in history or never competes again in the coming years he has already cemented his legacy.

Whatever you think of Tiger Woods the person it is undeniable what Tiger Woods the golfer achieved for the game.

Inspiring a generation doesn’t even come close.

Without him, like many others, I may never have discovered this great game they call golf.

And for that, Tiger, I am eternally grateful.

It’s great to have you back, Tiger. There’s nothing in my eye, honest.