IT felt like the end of the Tiger Woods era at Augusta.
For once the four-time Masters champion shied away from announcing he was here to win.
Icon Tiger Woods looks over the ninth green on a practice round at Augusta but is just happy to still be a player at Masters level
Woods has won the Masters in 1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and, here, 2019
It was more like all our yesterdays, as Woods, 47, ran through all his great memories of his favourite event.
Don’t forget, this is a major where he has been the dominant figure for more than a quarter of a century.
Woods and the Masters have gone together like Trump and Trouble, ever since Tiger won here by a record 12 shots as a rookie professional 26 years ago.
His fourth victory in 2019, following surgery to fuse a couple of discs in his lower back, was more remarkable, and every bit as memorable.
But as Woods talked about his 25th Masters appearance, it was hard to avoid the impression that he has finally accepted the glory years are behind him.
The horrific road accident two years ago that almost cost Woods his right leg has left him toiling to complete 72 holes on courses as tough and undulating as this one.
Throw in a weather forecast that threatens thunderstorms on Thursday and torrents of rain on Saturday – prompting fears of a first Monday finish since 1983 – and this week will be even more of a slog.
Tiger seems to be finally feeling his age, with a long history of back, knee and leg trouble inevitably catching up to him.
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He said: “The process of coming back from my latest injury has given me is just the appreciation of being able to play the game.
“I’ve said this before, prior to my back fusion, I didn’t know that I was going to be able to play at any kind of level.
“I was able to do that and come back and play and happened to win a Major along the way.
“Then obviously with the accident, it’s been a tough, tough road, and again, it’s the satisfaction of just being able to play this game.
“And especially to be able to come here and play at Augusta National again.
“It’s such a special place. And it means so much to me in my heart to be able to come here and play this golf course, and just appreciate the memories that I’ve had here, whether it’s in competition, or the practice rounds, or the stories we share.
“There are so many memories. So much of my life has been here at Augusta National, and again. I’m just so excited to be back here again and to play and compete.
“But things are different now.
“I’m very lucky to have this leg; it’s mine. Yes, it had been altered and there’s some hardware in there, but it’s still mine. It has been tough and will always be tough.
“The ability and endurance of what my leg will do going forward will never be the same. I understand that.
“That’s why I can’t prepare and play as many tournaments as I like, but that’s my future. I’m limited with what I can do, but I’m okay with that.
The par-five 13th hole has been lengthened 35 yards to 545 yards this year
“And the joy is different too. I’ve been able to spend more time with my son, and we’ve been able to create our own memories out there, to share some of the things I experienced with my dad, the late-night putting or practice sessions that we did.
“It’s incredible, the bonding and the moments that come because of this sport.
“I’m not able to compete and play as many tournaments or do the things I’ve been able to do over the years.
“But to be able to still share this game and share some memories and create new memories with my son – and also pass on some of the things that I’ve learned to him and others – has been fantastic.
“I don’t know how many more Masters I have in me. So just to be able to appreciate the time that I have here, and cherish the memories, is a real joy.”
Rory McIlroy could clearly see the writing on the wall when he played a practice round with Woods.
McIlroy said: “He looks good.
“You know, if he didn’t have to walk up these hills and have all of that, I’d say he’d be one of the favourites. I mean, he’s got all of the shots.
“It’s just that physical limitation of walking 72 holes, especially on a golf course as hilly as this. And the weather forecast suggests this is going to be a long, hard grind.
“We never count Tiger out, and he can do incredible things. You watch him on the range and you watch him hit chips and putts, and he’s got all the aspects of the game that you need to succeed around this place.
“It’s just the toll it takes on his body to compete over 72 holes.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can watching golf improve your skills?
Yes, it helps me!
Golf is one of the most popular sports around the world. The sport of golf involves hitting a ball to a target from various distances with sticks and clubs. It’s a great sport to enjoy relaxing and spending quality time outdoors. Golf has many benefits. Here are just a few:
- Golf helps you get fit
- Playing golf makes you feel good
- When playing you don’t have too much to think about
- Golf is a game that teaches patience
- Watching golf gives you inspiration
- Golf is fun
- It’s easy to learn golf
- Golf is more affordable than other sports
- Golf is an excellent stress reliever
- Golf is a social game
Is it possible to make money by playing golf
Absolutely! As a professional golfer, there are many ways to make additional income. You can teach, sell merchandise, organize tournaments, and even be a celebrity.
How can I improve golf scores?
These simple tips can make it easy to improve your golf game.
- Play less and practice more. Practice more to become better at your chosen skill. Exercising too often can lead to poor habits.
- You should play when you feel good. There are times when you just don’t feel like playing golf. Do not force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy. Instead, find new ways to make playing golf enjoyable.
- Take breaks. Golfers like to take breaks during rounds to stretch, walk around, have lunch or just relax. You can relax your body and stay focused while on the course by taking breaks.
- Water! It is easy for people to lose track of the number of drinks they have had while out on the courses. You should drink enough water to avoid becoming dehydrated. It will keep you feeling hydrated before, during, & after your game.
- Healthy eating is key. Eat healthy foods such fruits, vegetables, lean meat, whole grains and low-fat dairy products to give you energy, so you can perform well at the course.
- Keep hydrated. Water is your best friend. Aim to drink at least eight glasses per day. This includes water from drinks (such as coffee) and plain water.
- Get warm. Warm up for the round by moving or running for five minutes. You should then be flexible and agile.
- Keep your head down. It’s important that you keep your eyes focused on the ball when you tee-off. You should not be looking at the ball, or where it lands. Instead, focus your attention on the hole.
- Proper form is key to a smooth and graceful swing. Proper form may mean different things to different people. You should avoid hitting your target with your swing. You should instead aim to hit the ball in the middle of the club face.
- Keep your eyes on the process. There are many things that go into a successful swing of golf, but focusing on the process will allow you to develop the best technique. Try relaxing your grip if you struggle to hold your hands still. Or, if you struggle to maintain balance, then focus on maintaining good posture.
How can I reduce my golf score by five strokes
First, you need to improve your swing mechanics. Even though you know how to hold the golf club properly, if you aren’t feeling comfortable swinging it correctly, you won’t get the correct feedback from your body. Once you have mastered this step you will want to work on increasing your strength and flexibility. Slowly start, then work your way up to greater distances. As you improve your scores, you will notice a more consistent game.
Can I improve the game of golf by not practicing?
For improving your game, practicing is crucial. If you don’t have the resources or time to drill regularly, you can still improve. Remember to always practice what you want to do. You should play fast if you want to play faster. If you want to hit the target farther, you should also focus on hitting the target further.
How can I make golf a good sport?
Golf is not a bad thing. Golf is actually quite healthy. Studies show that people who play golf live longer than those who do not. They also tend to be less stressed out, which means they’re happier people.
- According to Shot Scope’s database of more than 30 million shots, 80% of missed greens are missed short. (todaysgolfer.co.uk)
- However, if you go in thinking that you will get all the way down to a 10, you will likely stunt your progress because your expectations are way out of line. (practical-golf.com)
- This means as much as 50% of your practice time. (practical-golf.com)
- Trackman found that over 65% of amateur’s golf shots finish short of the target from 160 yards. (golfinsideruk.com)
- Or that, on the greens, some 84% of putts over five feet also finish short of the hole? (todaysgolfer.co.uk)
How can I improve my golf game at home
You can practice anytime anywhere!
You can use any type of equipment you want, from a simple putter to a full set of clubs. There are many different types of golf training devices available online, such as putting trainers, swing analyzers, and even virtual reality systems.
It is important to practice regularly to improve your playing ability at work. The most effective way to do this is to find a local course near where you live or work. This allows you to practice whenever you feel like it without having to worry about finding a partner or waiting until you get home.
Practice makes perfect. If you don’t play enough, practice once a week, or every two. If you play often, consider playing twice a week or once a monthly. It doesn’t matter how often you practice; just make sure to keep practicing.
You should ensure that the new club fits properly before you purchase it. Unfitting clubs can cause injury or damage to your favorite club. Before you buy anything, make sure to read reviews. You should also consider the size of your grip.
Be sure to warm up before hitting your ball. At first, it might be difficult to know how much force should you apply when swinging the club. Warming up can help you determine how hard you should hit the ball in order to reach certain distances.