London - So much for that old F Scott Fitzgerald line about there being no second acts in American lives. If so, how to account for the remarkable rise and rehabilitation of Tiger Woods?
The man is now so comfortable in his seemingly reformed skin he has posted Facebook photos of the new love of his life, even if you do have to look twice to confirm it is not pictures of the old one.
This second act is now so entrenched that the President of the United States, no less, is comfortable playing golf with him. Caddies feel comfortable making jokes about him.
When the recent Accenture Match Play Championship on the mountain slopes in Arizona was suspended because of heavy snow, one bagman of British descent walked breezily into the locker room and said aloud, with Woods in earshot: ‘What a perfect day for downhill skiing. Anyone here know any downhill skiers?’
Woods, who revealed to the wider world on Monday he is dating the American gold medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn, took it in exactly the spirit intended.
That is symptomatic of the slightly more open Tiger we are seeing these days, one happy playing social golf with a rival such as Rory McIlroy - something that would never have happened in the first act.
While his insatiable lust for loose women appears to have gone, what hasn’t altered is his insatiable lust for winning.
It was at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year that he won for the first time since November 2009, the fateful month when he drove into a fire hydrant and all sorts of party girls gushed out.
Now at the same Bay Hill course where he has won seven times in all, would you believe, another win this week would see him displace McIlroy and end the Northern Irishman’s 32-week reign at the top of the world rankings.
In all, Woods has spent more than 12 years of his professional life as No 1 in the world but hasn’t been at the top since Lee Westwood displaced him in October 2010. Another landmark is in sight, therefore, along the road to re-establishing himself as the dominant force.
You’d have to be a terrible grudge-bearer not to admire the manner in which Woods has pieced together this second act. By October 2011 he had tumbled outside the world’s top 50. Approaching his late thirties with a chronic knee injury and the media wallowing in his disgrace, his fall seemed complete.
Now the photos are of events such as Tiger and first wife Elin attending school sports functions together, stitching sufficient pieces of their old life in place, like so many divorced couples, for the sake of their two kids. In the gym and on the practice range Woods, as ever, has put in the hard hours.
In the face of the usual hostility from the myriad golf experts, he changed his swing once more to take pressure off those two joints that appeared worn out: his right achilles and his left knee.
In the gym he is now able to train normally for the first time in a decade and you can see the results. Body-wise, he looks like a well-trained 21-year-old, rather than someone aged 37.
As for his golf, he has shown the patience with which so few are blessed. Ignoring all the siren calls from outside his inner bubble, over the past two years - under the supervision of his brilliant coach, Sean Foley, who also looks after Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan - he has painstakingly assembled his game to the point where he now appears on the cusp of another golden era.
Woods won twice more after his Bay Hill victory last year but that was all a mere prelude to his performance at the Cadillac Championship a fortnight ago.
The final victory margin might have been only two strokes but this was Woods winning how he used to win, by dominating the field and making them feel dispirited. His old caddie, Steve Williams, used to reckon any time Tiger took fewer than 120 putts for a tournament, he won. At Doral two weeks ago, he took 100.
It was victory number 76 on the PGA Tour and he now stands second behind Sam Snead, who won 82 times, on the all-time list. If you want to know how far ahead he is of Snead’s pace, consider this: if Tiger didn’t win any events between now and 2021, he’d still be on target.
If that record is merely a question of when, the one that consumes him, of course, is Jack Nicklaus’s total of 18 majors.Reaching that is far from a given.
To put his task into perspective, from this point Woods would have to match the career total of five managed by a player as great as Seve Ballesteros to overtake the Golden Bear.
Still, would anyone rule it out? With his health restored, his love life on an even keel and his golf close to its awesome best, would anyone be too surprised to see this particular second act culminate with arguably the greatest sporting achievement of all?