"I'm not dead."
That was the assurance Tiger Woods offered reporters, as quoted by ESPN, ahead of his long awaited - and repeatedly delayed - comeback, which is now due to finally take place at the Hero World Challenge this week.
The 14-time major winner's impending return has put the relatively minor Bahamas-based event, which comes over a month after the season-ending FedEx Cup playoffs, well and truly on the map.
And while Woods is indeed still alive, it remains to be seen if he is kicking again, at least as far as the standards of elite professional golf are concerned.
As various would-be heirs, among them Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, jostle for position at the game's pinnacle, Woods has been keeping some obscure company of late.
Having previously spent a record total of 683 weeks at world number one, the 40-year-old is now ranked a lowly 898th.
Here, we take a look at the men inexplicably rubbing shoulders with one of the sport's greats.
Sean Riordan - 897
The man immediately above Woods in the rankings has recorded 11 missed cuts and one withdrawal in his last 14 outings, a tied-50th finish at last month's Indonesian Masters comfortably his best result in that period.
Riordan did manage a win in 2015, at the Asian Development Tour's PGM Port Dickson Championship.
Simon Yates - 899
A spot beneath Woods is a Scotsman who relocated to Thailand and has spent more than 20 years on the Asian Tour.
Yates has managed just one top-three finish in a ranking event since the beginning of 2011 and his biggest career win came in 2004, at the SK Telecom Open in South Korea.
Hubert Tisserand - 893
A few places ahead is a 23-year-old French amateur who has only entered three ranking events, winning on the Alps Tour Golf but missing the cut at the European Tour's Alstom Open de France in 2015.
Bernhard Langer - 907
There is at least one familiar face in Woods' vicinity, although his presence only serves to illustrate the impact and extent of the American's inactivity.
Fellow former world number one Langer is a serial winner on the Champions Tour but rarely sighted in events counting toward ranking points, last appearing at that level at The Players Championship in May, where he missed the cut.
Now 59, the German was tied 24th at the Masters in April, a finish Woods would have been envious of during his long, lonely spell watching from afar.