Tuesday’s forecast predicts rain in Augusta National as players continue training in preparation for the start of Thursday’s Masters.
But the sky cleared from the big question of the week: will Tiger Woods play?
His stunning response:
“From now on, I feel like I will play. I’m going to play nine more [practice] holes [Wednesday]. My recovery went well. “
Less than 14 months after a devastating car crash that nearly cost him his right leg – and life – Woods recovered incredibly, and Monday gathered huge crowds as he played in the top nine with Fred Parry and Justin Thomas.
There are speculations that Woods could play in a pair-three tournament on Wednesday with his 13-year-old son Charlie as a caddy. If so, Charlie will no doubt also get his swing.
Without a doubt, Woods and his remarkable return are once again the buzz of this legendary major championship:
About a month ago, Woods and Paris talked about a few days of golf in Florida. At the time, they could not get together. On Sunday night, Woods wrote to him, “Dude, we play tomorrow at 3 p.m. See you at football. ” The couple’s answer? “You bet.”
The couple gently pressed Woods about his plans to return. They’re friends, and Couples don’t want to be the guy who always asks. So even when Fred saw a photo of Woods playing at the Medalist Golf Club in Houb Sound, Florida, he didn’t ask.
“We don’t work that way,” Paris said. “I love him as one of my best friends and I, damn it, want it to stay that way and I don’t get into anything he does, but most of the lyrics were about his kids. Charlie got into new clubs, his daughter, speech, his daughter plays football, and then suddenly said, “I’m going to go to Augustus” because he loves JT [Justin Thomas] and he and I want to play these little training rounds. That was his goal. “
Then came Monday.
“He didn’t miss a lot of shots,” the couple said after training. “He rode it perfectly, and now he’s putting it there. So it works. “
Brian Harman, who finished 12th last year, about what Tiger brings to the Masters: “Well, he’s probably the most influential man that ever existed for golf, so let him be around, and, hopefully he’s healthy enough to be competitive, I think everyone has learned not to count this guy. He is incredible. We are all very happy that he is here. “
James Piot, a student from Michigan who got into the Masters after winning the U.S. Amateur Competition, has a memorable story of meeting Woods this week.
On Sunday, Piot and Aaron Jarvis, who won the 2022 Latin American Amateur Championship, played in the front on Sunday and made the turn. But before they could fight back, Woods slipped in front of them at number 10.
“We were getting ready for 10, and someone says, ‘Hey, Tiger just fought back in front of you.’ Aaron and I thought, “No way, holy shit.”
The two played 10 as fast as they could, hoping to catch Woods on the green and ask to join him.
“I didn’t have the courage to do it,” Piot said.
But Jarvis did.
“He ran through the trees and said,‘ Mr. Woods, Mr. Woods, do you mind if we join you?
Woods smiled but declined, politely telling fans that he prefers to play alone.
Piot said Jarvis accidentally hit Woods and Caddy Joe LaCauvo on the 17th Green.
“They were still on the green, and [Jarvis] was in the valley, did not see them, “said Piot. “But he came up and talked to them after the round, which was really cool. I kind of just watched from afar. I was a little scared. However, it was very cool. “
“It was really cool to see him play in front of me,” he said. “And after the round I had to talk to him and Joe for about 10 minutes and it was just incredible.”
And Jarvis didn’t take the turn close to heart.
“There’s no better ‘No’ than – or better rejection of Tiger Woods, right?” he said.
Also on Sunday, when Bryson De Chambo fought off at number 3 and Woods was at 17, they met eyes and each raised a hand to mimic the far five.
“Very, very glad he’s back,” DeChambo said. “Makes a lot of hype and more. And, shoot, from the driving range we could hear a loud roar when he came out of the club all the way to the first three, and it was pretty special to see or hear, at least ”.
When people see Augusta National for the first time, especially after years of television, they are almost always amazed by the changes in altitude. It’s a lot more hilly than it looks in the Masters broadcast.
All of these shafts will not be easy for Woods.
“In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want to go back to that golf course,” Lee Westwood said. “I would like something flatter, maybe a little shorter. Now it’s a long, hilly endurance test, and if you haven’t played, it only makes it a little harder.
“But he’s a fit guy, Tiger, so I wouldn’t expect any problems. I would have imagined that in an ideal world he would have liked if you had talked to a doctor, a physiotherapist or someone who really knew what they were talking about, they would not have gone on such a hilly test, but he probably played a flat course down in Florida. He probably went around his native course several times. He has to check it out at some point, doesn’t he? ”
Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who played in his third Masters, guessed that Woods would try to play in the Masters in December when Woods and his son played in the PNC Championship Pro-Am.
“Now I knew he was riding in a wheelchair and he needed to walk Augustus National, but I just thought in his head it was probably going to be a pretty cool way to get back,” Hughes said.
But Hughes admitted that last month he pondered when he attended the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony and saw Woods, a new recruit, limping on stage.
“I thought this guy didn’t look like he was ready to play,” Hughes said. “But he’s prepared, and we’re obviously glad he’s here.”
The rest of the world may be surprised that Woods appeared on the surface less than 14 months after the catastrophic car accident.
But not Max Homa. To him, surprise is not the word.
“I would be surprised if it was someone else who ever lived,” said Homa, who won the Genesis Invitational in 2021, a tournament shortly before Woods crashed. “So no, I’m not surprised. I’m surprised. This is a true testament to his work ethic because we all know what he does on the golf course, how diligently he works, and stories and legends. But sit back and do it all [physical therapy] it is – it should be at least boring, not to mention difficult.
“It reminds me of the documentary‘ The Muse ’with Kobe Bryant after he pops Achilles. He just picks up the balls with his toes and stacks them, and does so much more than anyone else. This is what, I imagine, makes Tiger like the most repetitions you can prepare. That’s really cool. “
All this is not for show.
“The Tiger won’t play here if they don’t think they can win,” said three-time grand champion Padreig Harrington. “He doesn’t come waving to the crowd. He comes to try to win the tournament. It looks like he will play, and if he does, he feels he can win, and it’s impressive. “
Webb Simpson said he was inspired to return after a neck injury by watching Woods bounce back from a variety of physical ailments over the years.
“Every time someone asks me if the Tiger can fight, the answer will be yes,” Simpson said. “It’s just a strange will inside him, whether he’s hurt, or sick, or struggling with his golf shot or whatever. So it’s really cool that this week he’s making a push to come back after that car accident. “