At the event, Woods drew a weekend TV audience bigger than three of last year's four majors and, being an eight-time victor, if he gets in contention over the weekend you can expect those ratings to climb even higher.
The purse for the Arnold Palmer Invitational is $8.9 million, with the victor collecting a hefty $1.6 million.
Pampling, Campbell and 57-year-old Kenny Perry are the only Bay Hill winners over the last 20 years who are not playing.
"I hadn't played there in a couple of years because of my back, and I wanted to play there a couple of years ago... This time he's physically fine and I'm seeing the normal Tiger". "If you would have asked me at the Presidents Cup previous year [whether I would play on Tour again], I didn't know".
Statistically, he's also exceeding all expectations and, according to the Golf Channel's resident statistician, he's now one of just four players ranked in the top-30 this season on the PGA Tour in both strokes gained tee-to-green and strokes gained putting.
Jason Day and Justin Rose are next, each at 12-1, followed by Rickie Fowler and McIlroy, who are each 18-1.
Although Grillo faded down the stretch at the Hero Indian Open and is flying across the world to play this week, he still offers excellent value at his price tag. Brooks Koepka is still out with a wrist injury, while Adam Scott said he was all but certain he would not be going to Match Play.
Players like List, Keegan Bradley and Charles Howell would have to advance deep into Match Play to move up some 16 spots into the top 50.
"Have you thought about being a 'playing captain?" was the first question of the presser. As well as winning the Farmers Insurance Open, Day finished runner-up in his most recent start at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. He likely would have to win his four-man group to assure staying in the top 50.
Cameron Smith is now No. 50 and playing Bay Hill and Match Play.
Woods was in contention nearly the entire week, fanning the flames of fans who thought it could be Tiger's time.
With a birdie at the first hole, Tiger grabbed a share of the lead early in the final round on Sunday in just his fourth start on the PGA Tour since being sidelined for a year.
He understands how players who didn't catch Woods in full flight might not understand the dominance. But he thinks there's more to it than that.
"I'm probably more restricted than I used to be", he said of his practice routines.