Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tiger in a green jacket?

It's been longer than he cares to remember

  • Print

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Around every corner at Augusta National is another reminder that Tiger Woods isn't getting any younger.

He played a practice round with a teenager from China who wasn't even born when Woods won his first Masters. He was introduced at his news conference Tuesday as playing the Masters for the 19th time, which caused Woods to bow his head and cover his eyes.

Among dozens of photographs on the walls of the club is one of defending champion Phil Mickelson helping Woods -- with a much fuller head of hair -- into the green jacket after Woods won the Masters in a playoff.

That was from 2005. And that was the last time Woods won the Masters.

Woods says at least he's contending, so he's not about to panic.

He conceded that it feels a lot longer than eight years ago, though he is not the least bit discouraged that the Masters is the major he has gone the longest without winning.

Since that Sunday evening, Woods has won the British Open twice, the PGA Championship twice and another U.S. Open.

Could he have imagined in 2005 that seven Masters would come and go without him winning?

"I wouldn't have been happy with that," Woods said. "I put myself in the mix every year but last year, and that's the misleading part. It's not like I've been out there with no chance of winning this championship. I've been there, and unfortunately just haven't got it done.

"Obviously, I'm not real happy with the fact that I haven't won more," he said. "But the whole idea is to give myself opportunities. And as of right now, I'm tied for second on the all-time win list here. So that's not too bad, either."

Woods has changed his practice routine at this major. For years known as a dew sweeper for playing his practice rounds at the crack of dawn, Woods hasn't shown up at the course until after lunch this week.

He played Monday afternoon with 14-year-old Guan Tianlang and Dustin Johnson. After his news conference, he headed to the practice range before going out for nine holes with Fred Couples.

Asked about the change, he was coy, telling a reporter with whom he's familiar, "Just wanted to mess with you." He smiled, never giving an explanation, so that much hasn't changed about Woods.

The biggest difference is his health and his game, which are connected.

There has been so much activity off the golf course -- the scandalous revelations of extramarital affairs that ended his marriage, changing swing coaches to rebuild his swing for the fourth time, a move to South Florida to a mansion so large he has his own practice range in the backyard -- that it was easy to overlook the injuries.

It all started to turn the corner last year when Woods began winning again -- three times on the PGA Tour -- and getting back into contention at the majors.

It was early last summer when he could finish a round and spend an hour on the range, and when his fitness plan was more about building strength then rehabilitating his left leg.

"The No. 1 concern was first of all, get health, get strong enough where I can practise," he said. "And once I started to be able to practise, things turned. And they turned quickly. I feel comfortable with every aspect of my game. I feel that I've improved, and I've gotten more consistent, and I think the wins show that. That's something that I'm proud of so far this year."

The wins are piling up, and they are impressive. He led by as many as eight shots on the back nine at Torrey Pines. He was never seriously challenged over the final hour at Doral and Bay Hill, two more wins that marked the first time in 10 years he had three wins before going to the Masters. And he's back to No. 1 in the world.

To no one's surprise, he is the overwhelming favourite when the Masters gets under way on Thursday.

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 10, 2013 C6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Exciting changes expected for Saturday's Santa Claus parade

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A goose flys defensively to protect their young Wednesday near Kenaston Blvd and Waverley -See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 16 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who has been the Jets best defenceman so far this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google