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course up even more for the longer hitters.
It’s not a great course. It’s a pretty good
course. But it is a great venue.
major champion Look at him off the first tee
at Augusta – how often has he hit it onto the
teacher He’s the only guy I know who has
found the eighth fairway from the first tee.
major champion Where is he going to put
the ball off the tee to start the round? It’s
not a 3-wood, sand wedge anymore. Nobody
wants any part of being in that fairway
bunker. Left [in the trees] is jail. If he can
somehow scrape together four pars to start
each round, that’s a huge boost. Then there’s
No.11 , which hits everyone in the shorts.
teacher The tee shot on No.2 is especially
hard for him, and he’s always played No.13
with a 3-wood off the tee. The best you can
hope for if you do that is a hanging lie and a
4-iron second shot. Other guys are driving it
around the corner and hitting 9-iron to the
green. Take those two holes and he’s giving
up half a shot – maybe three-quarters of a
shot – per round. Add that up, and you have
a three-shot deficit over four rounds. And,
by the way, that 3-wood off the 13th tee isn’t
going to be in the fairway four times. At least
one time he’s going to be up there in the
former tour pro I don’t like Tiger hitting
cuts. I think that’s the feel he likes, but it leads
to a lot of blocks, especially when he’s worried
about going left. Tiger trying to whip the ball
over the corner at 13 concerns me; I think he’ll
live in the right trees. He’ll worry about losing
his ball left. So he has a two-way miss. On 13,
where the best will be four-under par for the
week, he could potentially be over par.
teacher I can see him laying back a bit more
on the third hole, if only to avoid the delicate
little pitch from below the green. He might
have to play around his short game.
teacher I see the 11th as a problem for him
because he has to stand there and hit a dead-
former tour pro The 12th is such an
exciting hole, but it’s also a bit unfair. It’s
hard because the wind blows around so
much. There is zero skill involved in judging
that; it’s all luck. He doesn’t have the
consistent distance control he used to have,
or the ball flight, or the spin rate, so where he
used to be able to rein back on an 8-iron and
control all of the above, now all he’ll have is
the hard 9-iron. And when you hit that shot,
where it ends up is in the lap of the gods.
multiple major champion He’s peeled so
many layers of the onion. All sorts of things,
good, bad, indifferent. Can he peel back
enough onion layers to get back to the real
major champion If he were to contend at
Augusta, that’d be all-time in terms of what
it could do for golf. And for him. That would
change a lot of the story of what’s been
going on in his life these past few years.
former tour pro I would love to see him
win. But then I want him to go, even if that
isn’t the best for the game as a whole. I
don’t want to see him mediocre, or listen to
excuses for bad play. I think I beat him once
in my entire career, and it felt like a win,
even if he had a really bad week.
broadcaster I would hate for him to come
back, claim to be back to full fitness, then
play rubbish. I don’t want him to limp away
from the game with people lamenting the
sadness of it all. I don’t want him to be
like Frank Sinatra at the end. He was still
starring at concerts, even when he couldn’t
sing anymore. We’ll find out quite quickly
which direction Tiger is heading.
teacher It would be a hell of a story. My head
says no, but my heart would love to see it.
tour caddie Imagine what that would be
like, him going down the stretch against
the young guys. You’d have Tiger against
Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Justin
Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm ... that
would be fun to watch.
Additional reporting by john strege
IF HE WERE TO CONTEND
AT AUGUSTA, THAT ’D BE
ALL-TIME IN TERMS OF
WHAT IT COULD DO FOR
GOLF. AND FOR HIM.
The sense of anticipation will be
palpable when Woods strides to
the first tee at Augusta on April 5.
Exclusively at Drummond Golf.
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