We’re less than a week away from the start of the Masters, and there’s one looming question: Will Tiger Woods play?
Woods game has suddenly vanished. He played twice this year and in each instance he had no short game. His pitching and chipping is gone. People think he has the yips. As a result, people aren’t expecting Woods to tee it up at the Masters.
Golf insider Tim Rosaforte seems to think Woods will play.
He says Woods shot a “worst ball” 66 at his home course, Medalist. That means Woods would take two shots, and then play his next shot from the worse of the two ball positions. It’s hard to explain, but it means he made things harder for himself, but he still did well.
Anyway! Playing on your home course is one thing. Playing under the stress of the Masters is another. Augusta National, home of the Masters, is notorious for tough greens, and tight lies making chipping hard. Even great players playing their best will have their smallest flaws exposed. Someone with a shaky short game could be humiliated.
As prep for The Masters, Woods went to Augusta National this week to play a practice round. The results were mixed.
According to Golfweek reporter Jim McCabe, Woods had 5 birdies during his round. But, he shot a 2-over, 74, which means he was +7 elsewhere on the course. Apparently, his short game is still rough. McCabe says, “he did hit several indifferent chips, including one that went through the green and into a bunker.”
We don’t know the full details of the round, so it’s hard to make a call. But, if he shot a 74 with nobody watching, it’s hard to imagine he’s going to make a dent in the real tournament.
We should get an announcement from Woods today about whether he will play or not. We would be a little surprised if he plays. He was not in a good place mentally with his game earlier this year. If he shows up at Augusta and he can’t hit basic chip shots, it’s not going to help him get better. It’s just going to further erode his confidence.
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