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Associated Press
Spectators take photos as Tiger Woods gets ready to tee off at the eighth hole during a practice round on Wednesday.

Mindless zombies descend on Augusta

... or in other words, massive galleries are again following Tiger Woods like supplicants at an altar.

A huge crowd followed Woods during his practice round Tuesday, which suggests what I've been saying all along: That no matter how disgusting a human being you are, adulation will always be your due if you're a star. And Woods is not only a star, he basically carries all of golf in his hip pocket.

So don't expect any hecklers this weekend for Tiger, but thunderous ovations rising up within the Cathedral of Pines. I suspect for all of his humility and seeming contrition, Tiger's still the skeev he was before -- and being treated like a returning hero when he's anything but will no doubt reinforce the notion that he's pretty much untouchable no matter what he does or who he hurts doing it.

America loves its sinners, as long as they can reach the par-5s in two and at least pretend to be sorry. That's the lesson to take away from this weekend, children.

Ben Smith's blog.