As much of an immense privilege as it is to be allowed inside the ropes, it is seriously nerve-racking, well at least for a novice like me. However, with all due respect to Niclas Fasth and Peter Hanson who I followed for the first two and a half holes, the very bottom fell out of my stomach when I picked up the Tiger trail on the 3rd tee.

The influx of humanity was staggering as Tiger and Marcus Brier made their way down the 2nd. Not only are the crowds spectacularly large but it is the media hounds that blew me away. The media centre is a pretty cynical place and people seem to become ?Open-weary? at an alarming rate, or at least they claim to. The truth of the magic that this game holds for even a veteran reporter was shown though by the huge number of hacks I recognised who were patiently following Tiger through the persistent drizel.

One big difference to a standard tour event is the number of international photographers and none more so than following Tiger. One downside of this is that a few of them are a little less practised at the art of not disturbing the great man. Two Asian snappers caught the wrath of caddie Steve Williams as they shot too early on the 4th tee. It can?t be a nice feeling as they were singled out by Tiger?s bagman ? what a dressing down is that!

One thing I noticed straight away was the pace that Tiger plays at ? he is very deliberate on-screen ? so I had always imagined him to be quite a slow player but actually when he settles over it that?s it, the ball is gone. It?s a real eye-opener.

As we headed around the course the crowds became ever more numerous inside the ropes. It seemed that the entire press corp had emptied onto the course and were intent on noting down Tiger?s every move. One great thing about this is that Tiger, unlike other players, always has his own pair of press marshals monitoring us vultures. For me this was a major relief as it took away the danger of me doing something outrageously dumb and embarrassing myself on national television ? not to mention getting the stare from Steve Williams.

It is stating the obvious to such an extent that Sybil Fawlty would be impressed but Tiger is such an incredible player to watch live. How he keeps his focus is mind-boggling and how he has just gone round in 69 is even more unbelievable? quite literally. I lost count of the number of times he hit truly wayward shots, yet somehow, almost without any of us noticing, he coaxed his little white ball round under-par. If he wins tomorrow (and I?m not betting against it) he must be the least in-form player ever to win a Major.

By the time we came up the last there were 53 pepole inside the ropes and four buggys? if you were out following Lee and Foster early this morning you would have been lucky to spot that many people all the way round. Markus Brier must be congratulated for managing to keep his own game intact but as always the focus was on Tiger. I for one can never see myself getting ?Open-weary? but if I do I will just go out and follow the world number one ? a truly magical five hours.