Tiger Woods would not have many champions left, however he nonetheless has loads to lose in Augusta

The deep historical past between The Masters and Tiger Woods involves an finish.

As golf mortality battles with the 47-year-old Woods and his physique, it is unclear what number of instances Tiger will be capable to proceed his most well-known occasion. Enjoying on a restricted schedule since getting back from his automobile accident in 2021, Woods has been coaching principally in hopes of successful the No. 16 Main.

Optimism about no less than a weekend of competitors for Tiger in Augusta elevated after February’s Genesis Invitational. The reduce made and a prime 45 end gave followers an perception into how Woods hits quite a lot of deep pictures, impeccable approaches and well timed strikes. Internet hosting and taking part in in solely his fourth official occasion since getting back from his accident, Genesis was Tiger’s most full effort in his most up-to-date comeback. Extra importantly, Woods appeared extra bodily match to compete within the four-round occasion.

However whilst enthusiasm grows for yet another particular Tiger race in Augusta, time is definitely not on his facet.

Woods has been clear about his restricted competitors window and that his physique would not have a lot time. The information was repeated once more by Woods on Tuesday. “I do not understand how rather more I’ve in me,” he mentioned.

After 5 inexperienced jackets and many years of recollections, 2023 often is the final time Tiger – no less than on this stage of competitors – seems at The Masters.

So how are issues going into the week?

Strolling, not golf, could have the most important affect on how the Tiger performs

Throughout Woods’ strong Genesis weekend in February, the -4 third-round effort was notably noticeable. Enjoying this weekend for the primary time since his miraculous rise finally 12 months’s 2022 Worlds, Woods maintained above-average ball pace off the tee and was ninth in tee-to-green tee hits within the full event.

After struggling again to the 78s throughout the Augusta weekend final 12 months and failing to advance in consecutive PGA and Open Championships, Genesis confirmed that Woods’ bodily well being and pre-event preparations are getting nearer and nearer, preserving him within the sport all weekend.

“I feel my sport is healthier than final 12 months presently,” Woods mentioned on Tuesday. “I feel my stamina is healthier. Nevertheless it hurts just a little greater than final 12 months, simply because once I got here again, I actually did not push as a lot. And I had just a little window that I pushed it in and I used to be capable of come again.”

“I can take numerous pictures, however will probably be tough for me to maneuver ahead. It’s what it’s. I want it was simpler.”

Many of the pictures appear to be in play within the Tiger’s arsenal. It is Augusta Nationwide’s rolling hills that develop into the principle query. At 7,545 yards (thanks partly to the thirteenth tee set again), the Augusta Nationwide is the eighth longest rotation course on the annual PGA Tour calendar. TV broadcasts have carried out a greater job lately displaying angles that seize the acute elevation adjustments that Augusta has to supply. The drop from the tenth teebox to the eleventh inexperienced alone is over 100 ft downhill.

On a doubtlessly chilly, windy and moist weekend, strolling within the hills whereas staying cool might be a major think about Woods’ placement on the leaderboard.

“If he did not need to stroll these hills and have all that, I would say he’d be one of many favourites,” coaching accomplice Rory McIlroy mentioned on Tuesday. “He has all of the arrows. It is the bodily constraint of going 72 holes, particularly on such a hilly course.”

Tiger has remained constant and clear about its restricted schedule now and sooner or later

The constructive play on the Genesis Invitational additionally raised questions on Woods and his present schedule for 2023 and past.

Woods has at all times mentioned the 4 majors publicly, since his return final 12 months, as the principle focus of his schedule. However taking part in a daily PGA Tour occasion just like the Genesis Invitational has raised questions on a doubtlessly refreshed Woods trying to put together for essential occasions at different occasions.

However as Woods unnoticed previous favorites like Bay Hill and massive occasions just like the Gamers’ Championship in March, it grew to become clear that Woods was sticking principally to the principle schedule for now.

“My mobility is just not what I would really like, however I am fortunate to have this (proper) leg,” Woods mentioned on Tuesday. “Yeah, it has been modified and there is some gear in there, however it’s nonetheless mine. It was exhausting and can at all times be exhausting.

“The mobility and endurance and what my leg will do sooner or later won’t ever be the identical. I perceive that. That is one of many causes I am unable to put together and play as many tournaments as I would like. That is my future and that is okay. I’ve nothing in opposition to.

Tiger stays an necessary historic aspect of The Masters

In his older years on the Tour, Woods usually confirmed appreciation for the sport and gave it again. This theme is current all through Tiger’s schedule this week on the Augusta Nationwide.

They spent Monday’s follow spherical with Rory McIlroy, Fred {Couples} and 20-year-old Tom Kim. Throughout Tuesday’s press convention, Woods spoke enthusiastically about his youthful years at Augusta, taking part in with extra seasoned legends equivalent to {Couples}, Raymond Floyd, Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Tiger’s new affect on Augusta is displaying tips and distinctive methods to point out the brand new technology that can proceed to play on the golf course after his retirement. It was Tiger who collected signatures from Arnold Palmer after ace forward of him in Masters Par 3. Now Tiger is a legend taking part in with present No.

Intergenerational moments with Woods have gotten rarer in his restricted time within the Augusta Nationwide highlight. For now, there are enjoyable and memorable moments like Woods, McIlroy, {Couples} and Kim skipping the sixteenth inexperienced throughout a follow spherical.

Tiger Woods tee instances, schedule, group for The Masters 2023

Spherical 1 – Thursday

Group 12: Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffle – 10:18 ET

Spherical 2 – Friday

Group 27: Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffle – 13:24 PST

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