All eyes on Tiger Woods ahead of Masters

By Reuters
April 10, 2024
Tiger Woods seen in this undated photo. — AFP/File

AUGUSTA, Georgia: Tiger Woods was getting nearly as much attention as the solar eclipse at Augusta National on Monday as golf fans looked for signs that the five-times Masters champion could perhaps make a run at another Green Jacket.


A sixth Masters title would seem far fetched for the injury ravaged 48-year-old but a record 24 consecutive made cut at Augusta National could be within reach despite Woods making a single PGA Tour start this year that lasted just 24 holes.

The 15-times major winner has never missed a Masters cut as a professional and this week is seeking a tournament record for made cuts after tying Gary Player and Fred Couples last year. Woods began his final preparations for Thursday’s opening round by playing nine holes under sunny skies with Will Zalatoris, who is making his return to Augusta National after being forced out of last year’s major with a back injury.

“He (Woods) played great today,” said Zalatoris. “He out drove me a couple of times so there was some chirping going on. “He looks great. He’s moving as well as he can be. “Again, with everything he’s gone through, it’s pretty amazing to see how good he’s swinging it.”

Woods and Zalatoris got their work done before the solar eclipse cast a shadow over the famed layout later in the afternoon, forcing the lights on at the driving range. Wearing specially branded Masters glasses, spectators turned their attention from golf’s stars to the heavens to catch a glimpse of the eclipse before getting back to the practice rounds.

Woods has made a career of defying the odds as he did in the 2019 when he returned from spinal fusion surgery to win a fifth Masters. He made another miraculous return in 2022, coming back from a near fatal car crash that almost resulted in the amputation of his right leg to keep his run of Masters made cuts alive.