Tiger Woods will have another chance to win The Masters this week, giving him a chance to tie the record for most victories ever. Despite this, he hasn’t mentioned any chances of adding to his major winning total.
Even though it was his first start after sustaining life-threatening injuries in a car accident 14 months ago, Woods claimed he thought he could win the tournament before the 2022 battle. However, Woods later changed his mind regarding his shape and fitness going into this week’s competition.
In his pre-tournament news conference, Woods admitted, “Last year, I wasn’t sure whether I was going to play again at that time. I didn’t win the competition, but being able to return and compete was a minor accomplishment in and of itself. I’m not sure how many more I can manage. I can appreciate my time here and treasure the memories.
My mobility isn’t quite where I want it to be, but as I’ve already told you guys, I’m incredibly blessed to have this leg. It has been modified, and there is hardware inside, but it is still mine. It has been and will continue to be difficult.”
The world’s No. 1 played nine holes on each of the next two days before making his 25th competitive appearance at Augusta National. On Sunday, he engaged in some light practice.
Woods continued, “My leg’s capacity for endurance in the future won’t ever be the same. I realize that. I can’t practice as much or compete in as many events because of this, but that’s alright since that’s what my future holds. That’s OK with me. I believe that right now, my game is better than it was last year.
My endurance, I believe, has improved. However, it hurts a little bit more than it did the previous year simply because at the time I returned, I had not really pushed it that much.
After playing in Los Angeles in February, I took a short break before preparing for this. Simply being aware of how far I can push is all that is required. I’m good at making shots, but moving ahead will be difficult for me. It’s true what it is. It ought to be simpler, I wish.”
Tiger will still be a Masters contestant, right?
Tom Kim, Fred Couples, and Rory McIlroy were in Woods’ practice round on Monday. Rory McIlroy suggested that Woods’ mobility concerns are the only thing keeping him from being a real contender this week. Woods is a five-time winner of the Masters.
McIlroy stated at his pre-tournament news conference that “He [Tiger] looks excellent. I’d say he’d be one of the favourites if he didn’t have to trek up these hills and have all of that.
He really does have the upper hand. It’s basically a physical restriction to walk 72 holes, especially on a steep golf course like this, but as we all know, Tiger can accomplish anything.”
What level of danger does Woods pose to the rest of the group?
Since the competition last year, Woods has only made four official starts, cutting The Open and the PGA Championship before placing tied-45th at the Genesis Invitational in February. Fred Couples feels, though, that Woods still can perform well.
Although Tiger Woods is wary of the field’s perception of him as a danger, Bernhard Langer stated before the competition that he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see the Grand Slam champion high up the leaderboard this week.
“Who knows if they perceive me as a danger or not,” Woods remarked. “The public probably didn’t view me as a danger in 2019 either, but things worked out alright.”