Tiger Woods reveals ambition to win ‘one more’ green jacket as he seeks record-breaking cut at The Masters

Woods has played fewer than five-and-a-half competitive rounds since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year.

Phil Casey
Wednesday 10 April 2024 08:03 BST
(Getty Images)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Tiger Woods insists he can win a sixth green jacket and 16th major title, despite detailing the pain he faces on the vast majority of shots at Augusta National.

Woods has played fewer than five-and-a-half competitive rounds since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year after withdrawing from the Masters during the third round.

The 48-year-old returned to action in the Hero World Challenge in December and completed all 72 holes, but was forced to withdraw from the Genesis Invitational in February due to illness after six holes of the second round.

Woods had also suffered a back spasm which led to a dreaded shank on the 18th hole in round one, but stuck to his tried and tested answer when asked what he thought he could achieve this week. “If everything comes together, I think I can get one more,” Woods said, adding with a smile: “Do I need to describe that any more than that, or are we good?”

Yet that question and answer came just minutes after Woods had candidly described the issues that the litany of injuries he has suffered over the years – including almost losing his right leg following a car accident in 2021 – cause him on anything but a perfectly flat lie.

“Every shot that’s not on a tee box is a challenge,” Woods conceded. “The ankle doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s fused. It’s not going anywhere. So that’s fine. It’s other parts of my body that now have to take the brunt of it.

“The back, the knee, other parts of the body have to take the load of it and just the endurance capability of walking a long time and being on my feet for a long time (is an issue).

“Things just flare up. The training that we have to do at home, it changes from a day-to-day basis. Some days I just feel really good and other days not so much. I hurt every day. I thought that, when I was at Hero, once a month would be a really nice rhythm. Hasn’t worked out that way. But now we have major championships every month from here through July so now the once a month hopefully kicks in.”

While writing Woods off has proved a dangerous game in the past, making a 24th-consecutive cut at Augusta National, having equalled the record shared by Gary Player and Fred Couples last year, appears a far more achievable goal than winning.

Tiger Woods wants one more green jacket
Tiger Woods wants one more green jacket (Getty Images)

“I think it’s consistency, it’s longevity and it’s an understanding of how to play this golf course,” Woods said of that potential landmark.

“That’s one of the reasons why you see players that are in their 50s and 60s make cuts here, or it’s players in their late 40s have runs at winning the event, just the understanding of how to play it.

“Now, you still have to go out and execute it, but there’s a lot of knowledge that goes into understanding how to play it. And, granted, every tee box has been changed since the first time I played. Every green has been changed.

“But the overall configuration of how they roll and how they move and the angles you take, that hasn’t changed.

“That’s the neat thing about this. I can still go through the mental Rolodex and bring out a few putts from the ’90s that still move generally in that direction and the effect that Rae’s Creek has on certain shots and putts. And it means a lot.”

Woods, who will partner Jason Day and Max Homa in the first two rounds, said he remained in discussions about becoming Ryder Cup captain in 2025 and also reiterated his view that Rory McIlroy would definitely win the Masters at some point to complete the career grand slam.

“No question, he’ll do it at some point,” Woods said. “Rory’s too talented, too good. He’s going to be playing this event for a very long time. He’ll get it done. It’s just a matter of when.

“I think that Rory will be a great Masters champion one day and it could be this week. The way he plays the game and the golf course fits his eye, it’s just a matter of time.”

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in