Tiger Woods has impressive Masters even without green jacket
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Woods made the cut after the first two rounds and essentially the entire world watching him. The final two rounds weren’t ideal as he shot back-to-back 78s which were the highest scores he’s ever shot at Augusta. He finished 13-over par and toward the bottom of the leaderboard when his fourth round was over.
But for Woods, just getting through all four days was an accomplishment in its own right.
“It was an unbelievable feeling to just have the patrons and the support out there,” he said after his final round. “I wasn’t exactly playing my best out there but just to have the support out there and just the appreciation from all the fans … I don’t think words can really describe that given where I was a little over a year ago and what my prospects were at that time, to end up here and being able to play all four rounds … even a month ago I didn’t know if I could pull this off. I think it was a positive. I got some work to do and looking forward to it.”
Woods admitted he has good and bad days in his recovery but was thankful for the people around him who were helping him at this point.
“It’s hard. I have those days where I just don’t want to do anything. It just hurts. As I’ve alluded to earlier, I’ve had a great team around me that are super positive and motivated me and have helped me around,” he said. “Those days are tough. The days I feel good, those are easy days. But there have been more and more tough days than easy days. I just got to work through it.
“Just like golf, in order to get better you just gotta go out there and put in the time. I have. The hard parts are the recovery sessions. Pop in those ice baths a number of times a day. Those do really suck but it works. Just to have the support around me, I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Woods was in range of the leaders after the first round, shooting a surprising 71 which put him 1-under par for the course in the first round. He shot a second-round 74. He was just 1-over par going into the third round and he made the cut too, giving fans two extra days to see what he can do.
Some struggles in the final two days put him out of contention.
But just Woods’ ability to show up and play all four days was inspiring for some.
“Tiger showed this week why he is one of the greatest athletes of all time. He hasn’t played in over 500 days and was able to walk all week at the hilliest course that he will see all year while being inside the top 20 for two days,” Korn Ferry Tour star Ryan McCormick told Fox News Digital on Sunday.
“With some more competitive reps, he will be much sharper the next time he competes at a major. I’m sure he has his eyes on The Open at St. Andrews this summer.”
It had been about 17 months since Woods played against other high-level PGA Tour competition. He had participated in the parent-child PNC Championship in December 2021 and finished second to John Daly and his son, John II.
Woods has said he would never play a full golf schedule again and reiterated that again to Sky Sports. He said he may not be able to play the PGA Championship next month, but has his eyes on St. Andrews in Scotland later this summer for The Open Championship.
“I won’t be playing a full schedule ever again. It’ll just be the big events. I don’t know if ill play Southern Hills or not but I am looking forward to St. Andrews. It’s something that’s near and dear to my heart,” Woods said.
“I’ve won two Opens there. It’s the home of golf. It’s my favorite golf course in the world. I will be there for that one. But anything in between that, I don’t know. I will try. I will try to get ready this week for Southern Hills and we’ll see what this body will be able to do.”
Woods had won the Masters in 2019, completing the biggest comeback the sports world has ever seen.
In February 2021, he was seriously injured in a Los Angeles car crash. He shattered bones in his right leg and needed a rod in his tibia and screws and pins in his ankle to stabilize the injuries.
Last summer and fall, Woods was seen on the golf course with a black brace over his leg as he practiced taking some swings and watching his son, Charlie, compete at some junior events.
It appears as though Woods has proved to himself he could walk the toughest courses. With three major tournaments to go in the golf season, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Woods ramp up a bit more in order to play and compete with some of the sport’s best.