Believe It or Not Tiger Woods Still Has A Chance at The Masters

Tiger Woods isn’t out of the Masters yet. He fought age and injury and wind and players half his age and his prize is the chance to do that for two more days, hoping that what remains of his once glorious golf game will be enough to collect another green jacket.
Tiger Woods - The Masters
Tiger Woods - The Masters / Warren Little/GettyImages

The closet door that holds the green jackets isn’t open yet, but Woods can at least put his hand on the doorknob.

Woods survived the biggest obstacle Thursday and Friday which was wind, wind, and more wind. And when you thought it was done, whack, it blasted again. It was exhausting to listen to it, never mind play in it.

In addition to surviving, Woods has another record. He has made more cuts at the Masters than any other player in history at 24, one more than Fred Couples and Gary Player. When asked what it meant, he was quick to remind everyone of the real goal. 

“It means I have a chance going into the weekend. I'm here. I have a chance to win the golf tournament,” he said. 

Not have a good finish. Win. That’s the Tiger Woods the world knows and loves.

“I'm only eight back as of right now,” he explained to media after his round. “I don't think anyone is going to run off and hide right now, but it's really bunched. The way the ball is moving on the greens, chip shots are being blown, it's all you want in a golf course today.”

Really? It seems like something nobody wanted, but it does separate the patient and determined from those who aren’t.  

Woods even waxed poetic about the golf course.

“The years I have missed, I wish I was able to play because there's such an aura and mystique about playing this golf course that I don't think that -- unless you have played and competed here, you probably don't really appreciate,” Woods explained. 

What was the key to making the weekend?  When he got himself out of position, he was still in a perfect spot for a recovery because he knows how to play the course.

“Probably the only exception was the spot I put myself in on 14. Most of the up-and-downs I was in a perfect spot,” he added.

On the 14th, after a 307-yard drive in the middle of the fairway, he hit over the green into the gallery on the left side. His chip up still left him a 9-footer on a green that is worse than treacherous. That shot was the error. The putt was a length that is never a sure thing, and in this case, he missed it on the right and had a tap in for bogey.   

But Saturday is supposed to be warm and sunny, perfect for an older golfer whose body has been stitched and glued together. Whether it will be perfect for Woods is the question.

The good news is Woods is ahead of more than half the field. At 1-over par, he has 21 guys ahead of him and about 30-odd behind him. The cut is top 50 and ties which was 6-over par. 

Woods doesn’t tee off for the third round until 12:45, which should give him plenty of time for his lengthy recovery procedure and his drawn-out routine before he hits a ball. 

In his favor is that he has won on Augusta National’s vicious but beautiful course five times already.  There’s a reason for the saying horses for courses. Even though a few things have been nipped and tweaked and made longer, the course is still similar to the one where he won his last four green jackets. It has changed a lot since 1997 when he won his first Masters.

Woods will play with Tyrrell Hatton, who recently jumped ship to LIV.  He will follow Brooks Koepka and Taylor Moore on the course and be in front of Xander Schauffele and Eric Cole. 

Three players ahead of Woods have won a green jacket: Danny Willett, Scottie Scheffler, and Patrick Reed. Five others have won majors and know the pressure: Matt Fitzpatrick, Lucas Glover, Cameron Smith, Collin Morikawa, and Bryson DeChambeau.

Next. Tiger and company on Augusta National changes. Tiger and company on Augusta National changes. light

If Woods can make up half the point difference tomorrow, and if his body doesn’t fail him, he has a chance. Let the battle commence.