The Masters is this week and Tiger Woods is still listed as a player.
Tiger played a practice round last week and apparently, it went well.
It is starting to look like Woods will make his return to competitive golf this week.
It is time to get excited, folks.
It is really starting to look like Tiger Woods will play the Masters this week.
Last week, Woods traveled to Augusta ahead of the Masters and played a practice round with his son, Charlie Woods, and Justin Thomas.
Beyond just playing Augusta on the eve of the Masters, this raised eyebrows since Woods was listed as a player on the Masters’ website instead of one of the “past champions not playing.”
At the time, that could have been dismissed as just Tiger not informing Augusta yet that he wouldn’t play.
But now we are four days removed from the practice round, and Tiger is still listed as a player. If the practice round had not gone well, it would seem that Woods would have let Augusta National know by now.
This was a point echoed by Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee on “The Dan Patrick Show.” earlier in the week.
“He is officially listed on the website of Augusta National as in the field,” Chamblee told Dan Patrick. “It can’t get any more official than that, I suppose. The idea of him coming up here to play was to see if he could walk the golf course … If he couldn’t do it, couldn’t compete, couldn’t hit the shots, I think he would have withdrawn by now. I think there is a pretty darn good chance we are going to see him walking these fairways come Monday or Tuesday of next week.”
In other words, if Tiger were just trying to see if he could handle the grueling hills of Augusta, we would know by now — several days later — if he couldn’t.
And now we have another inside report from Woods’ practice round. According to PGA Tour caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay, Woods looked good during his practice round.
During an appearance on “The JP Peterson Show,” Gary Koch of NBC said he had texted Mackay, who is now caddying for Thomas and was with the group during Woods’ playing Augusta.
“He said he was really impressed with what he saw that day,” Koch said. “He didn’t go into a lot of detail. He was a little on the quiet side. He just said, ‘very impressed with everything I saw.’ So, I would guess, by that, there is a legitimate chance that we see Tiger play next week.”
In addition, Rex Hoggard of NBC’s Golf Central has heard that Tiger’s game is back, just 13 months after the horrific accident that nearly took his leg.
“What I’ve heard from people in South Florida – the actual game itself — ball speed, clubhead speed — it’s all there, it’s all back,” Hoggard said on the “Golf Central” podcast.
Will Tiger play the Masters? We still don’t for certain. But it might be time to free up your plans next weekend.
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