The new Woods smiled on the course, waved to fans while practicing and took his time answering reporters' questions.
"He was more human I think than we have seen him ever, certainly at the Masters," USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan said. "The things that Tiger admitted to, the things he said, the things he was sorry about, those are words we have never heard Tiger say a few years ago or even a few months ago."
The news conference, held at the Augusta, Ga., club, was Woods' first extended question and answer session with reporters since a sex scandal derailed his career nearly five months ago.
"I made a conscious decision to try and tone down my negative outbursts and consequently I'm sure my positive outbursts will be calmed down, as well… Just trying to be more respectful of the game and acknowledge the fans like I did today," Woods told reporters Monday.
Acknowledging the fans is a change for Woods, Brennan said, because he usually doesn't pay much attention to the gallery.
"It will be interesting to watch the next couple of days when he plays if that affects him. That is not what Tiger normally does, being nice to the gallery. He normally is so focused, so let's look for that concentration and see how it impacts his play on the course," Brennan said on "Good Morning America" today.
In a reference to his aloof treatment of his fans over the years, Woods said, "That was wrong of me."
Woods told reporters he did not know what to expect coming into the tournament, but was pleasantly surprised by his reception.
"What a great day today," Woods told a hand-picked room of reporters. "Coming in today I didn't know what to expect. The galleries couldn't be nicer. The encouragement that I got, blew me away to be honest with you."
He said he was surprised too by the reception he received from other golfers, saying that many of them gave him hugs.
"Now we find this new softer, huggable Tiger Woods, I never thought I would see players hug Tiger Woods, usually they run from him," Rick Reilly, a senior writer for ESPN's Web site, said. "He is about as huggable as a porcupine, or used to be."
Although Reilly and Brennan agreed that Woods was more open with reporters than he has been in the past, Woods still has questions to answer.
"Why were you in therapy? For what? For sex? For drug abuse? What was it? We were so close on [finding out ] why that night did the wife go back in the house and get Ambien and Vicodin and show it to the police," Reilly said. "And then when we asked him he kind of gave an evasive answer. He didn't say why, four years after his dad's death, which was his reason for taking Ambien, he was still taking it."
Woods admitted using the sleep drug Ambien in the past and denied he was in rehab for drug use. He added that he had never used illegal drugs.
Regardless of how the past five months has unfolded for the famous golfer, Woods said "nothing's changed" and he still expects to win the Masters that begins on Thursday. Woods has already won four Masters Tournaments.
"I am so ready to watch the guy play golf, that is how we all know him," Reilly said on "Good Morning America."