Home' Australian Golf Digest : April 2018 Contents TIGER’S MASTERS FINISHES
Tiger Woods has four wins and 11 top-five finishes
in 20 Masters appearances (asterisks denote
rounds as an amateur):
1st (by 12)
1st (by two)
1st (by three)
1st (in playoff )
Did not play
Did not play
Did not play
Masters scoring average of 70.86 (43 of Woods’ 78
rounds have been under par, 16 have been even
par and 19 have been over par). Career earnings at
former tour pro Stenson won The Open
[at Troon] at 40, O’Meara won two Majors
[the Masters and British Open] at 41 in 1998,
Ernie won The Open, Darren [Clarke] won
The Open – so did Phil – all in their 40s. So
precedent is on Tiger’s side.
teacher If Fred Couples can be right there
in contention at 53, 54, 55 years old ...
Bernhard Langer ... well, of course Tiger
Woods can win.
tour caddie Augusta is the perfect venue for
him because he doesn’t have to be perfect.
If you know where to miss – and he knows
every inch of that course – you can figure it
out. Look at the guys who contend in their
50s who simply know what to do. It’s the best
chance for him to win a Major, by far.
multiple major champion If Tiger gets to
the top, there will be 12 guys behind who
go, Well, I’ve never played against Tiger; isn’t
multiple winner on tour A tournament
where Tiger is in contention would be a big
distraction for me, but I want to be there for
the aura and the vibe that he would bring.
former tour pro If Tiger does get into
contention, he’s going to be almost like the
guy who’s going to get one chance to win a
Major. It wasn’t quite like that for Jordan –
yes, it hurt when he threw it away in 2016, but
he knew there were more chances coming.
I’m not sure Tiger will feel like that now. It
might mean too much.
multiple winner on tour It is the Masters,
so guys will get tight. Augusta rules out more
guys than any other.
teacher I don’t have a lot of confidence in
Tiger at Augusta. Here’s the sequence: his
driving isn’t going to be accurate enough, so
he isn’t going to get his approach shots close
that often, so he’s going to be putting from
distance too much, so he’s going to three-putt
sooner or later.
former tour pro Tiger still hits crazy-good
shots now and then, but what wins Top 10
Plays on ESPN is not necessarily what wins
tournaments. It’s more about delivering the
simple stuff on a consistent basis. That’s
what Spieth does. I don’t go wow very often
watching Jordan, but he gets up and down
nearly every time – or at least every time he’s
major champion There are 20 guys who, at
their best, play like Tiger did in 2000. At least
tour caddie He doesn’t have to be 2000
version of Tiger – he can be 2013 Tiger and be
broadcaster When Tiger came back from
the scandal, he hadn’t played for five months
when he turned up at Augusta [in 2010]. Not
many thought he could compete. But he did –
he tied for fourth.
multiple winner on tour I always refer
back to that [the 2010 finish]. If that
doesn’t get people’s attention, I don’t know
multiple winner on tour Look at 2015. His
game was a mess. He was yipping chips;
he hadn’t been able to play [but finished T-17
in the Masters]. This time he’s starting from a
much better place.
multiple major champion He won one
Major in ’08, he won two Majors in ’06. Now
12 years from the dominance, I can’t see it.
teacher His inherent competitiveness will
see him through if he gets a sniff at Augusta.
He’s hitting the ball far enough.
teacher When a baseball pitcher in his 20s
throws a 98-mile-per-hour fastball, he can
throw it by hitters. But as he ages, he has to
evolve from a thrower into a pitcher. Tiger
needs to do the same thing. If he doesn’t,
he’ll be competing with the young guys on
their turf, which used to be his turf.
major champion Let’s face it, he hasn’t been
in contention in a big event in five years.
major champion Why could he win the
Masters? Because he’s Tiger Woods. Do I
think it’s likely? No.
former tour pro He just isn’t good enough
teacher I have no doubt he’s going to win
tournaments, but not the Masters – or any
Major this year.
major champion I’m not going to the
betting window with Tiger’s name on my
ticket. He’s dogged it a few times over the
past few years. He’s walked off multiple
times simply because he was playing poorly.
If you do that once, you’ll do it again.
multiple winner on tour Yes, he can
play Augusta National blind, but some of
the young guys like Jordan have it figured
out, too. Rory should win one. Jason Day
probably is going to win one. Where does
Tiger fit into that scenario? Can he steal one
somewhere? That has to be the way Tiger ’s
going to do it.
former tour pro I’ve actually picked him
to win the US Open this year. I think he needs
some time to play a bit more. Maybe the
Masters will come too soon for him.
major champion I’d love to see Tiger have a
chance to win – as long as he doesn’t beat me.
(OR THE LACK OF IT)
major champion He needs to re-assess what
kind of golfer he can be and still compete. He
should look to be Zach Johnson – a better
version of Zach. Can you imagine how good
a version of Zach that Tiger could be? He’d
be long off the tee, he’d be in the middle
of every green, he’d get up and down from
everywhere, and he wouldn’t be scared of
anybody. If he could just say to himself, I ’m
never going to hit it over 300 yards; my only
goal is to hit every fairway and the middle of
every green, he’d put on a clinic. And he would
never hurt himself. But can he do that? I don’t
really think so. I’m not sure he has that Plan B.
major champion I don’t ever see him dialing
anything back. He’s never been that player.
I can’t see him evolving into a longer version
of Zach Johnson. He would hate to play like
that, even if it makes a lot of sense.
broadcaster Tiger was talking about how
he has to re-learn how to play the game. He
was looking at people like Furyk and Stricker
and their ability to compete when they can’t
fly the ball 300 yards. They were supposedly
his inspiration. And he was enjoying that
challenge. Then he came out, supposedly
pain-free, and he’s hitting it 300 yards.
Incredible. I still can’t quite understand how
that’s possible with a fused back.
teacher Tiger is never going to be able to
“pat” the ball ’round the course. His ego won’t
allow him to do that. He needs to be out there
with the longer guys on tour, which is fine.
That allows him to attack the course in the
way that he knows how to play.
teacher The ability to hit long drives sets up
the opportunity to use the short game and
putting to his advantage, so that’s why Tiger’s
going after his drives so much. It’s all about
the short game only if you have the ability
and strength to dominate the course. Rightly
or wrongly, that’s where the game is at.
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