Woods finished his first round on Thursday at one-under par, and got off to a very solid start on Friday with two birdies on the back nine (his first nine) and one on the 2nd hole to get to four-under and tie the leaders. He took the outright lead on the par-5 fifth hole with another birdie when he climbed to five-under, but gave that shot back with an unfortunate bogey on his final hole of the round.
As a Tiger homer, and someone who has continuously said that Tiger isn’t done yet even through all the questions regarding his health, this pleases me greatly. I haven’t wavered in my belief that he could make a comeback, and watching Phil Mickelson battle it out with Henrik Stenson at The Open Championship a couple of years ago only increased my belief that with the proper rest and rehab, and a new mentality about his own game, that he is still capable of making a comeback.
Of course, he’s still got a lot of golf to play this week, and next at Bay Hill where he has had success before, but does anyone who has been watching this comeback truly believe that Tiger isn’t back? That he isn’t capable of putting together four rounds of golf that will put him in contention on Sunday?
Now it’s time to unleash those hot takes and I’ll start by saying that Tiger Woods is still capable of winning the Masters this year.
Yes, I know that sounds insane to say, but if there is one course that Woods knows how to not only minimize his mistakes but take advantage of, it’s Augusta National. He’s improving from week to week this year and even though he has yet to win, that doesn’t mean he isn’t ready to.
The last time Woods played in the Masters was in 2015, a year he was struggling on the course and had the yips, and he still managed to finish T17 at five-under behind a few other big names like Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Dustin Johnson, Zach Johnson, Rickie Fowler, and Sergio Garcia. That’s a respectable score considering all his body had and has been through.
This year Tiger seems more prepared physically and mentally for Augusta than he has since 2013 when he finished tied for fourth. While there is no guarantee that Woods will win the Masters again, it doesn’t seem as farfetched of a belief as it has in the past.
So, tune in and watch because this could be one of the greatest comebacks of all time.