Entering Sunday at the Masters Tournament last weekend, Tiger Woods sat at -5, well behind leader and eventual champion Dustin Johnson, but still a pretty respectable score. The start to his day was pretty brutal, and it looked like the physical issues that have plagued Woods late in his career were rearing their ugly head once again.
After a birdie on the second hole, Tiger would bogey the fifth, seventh, and 10th holes. On the par three 12th hole, things really fell apart. He wound up posting a 10, pushing him to +9 for the day.
That kind of hole would be enough to bury most golfers. For Tiger, it seemed to have the opposite effect. He birdied the next hole, had par on the 14th, and then birdied the final four holes of his 2020 Masters Tournament to finish at +4 for the day, and -1 for the event.
The 38th-place tie is not where Tiger wanted to be, and it was 19 strokes behind Johnson, who put in a dominant performance at Augusta National. Still, given how abysmal that 12th hole was on Sunday, he has to be somewhat relieved about digging out of what could have been a true collapse. After the tournament, he addressed the physical toll of the tournament, and admitted that playing at the top of his game has gotten more difficult as time has gone on.
Tiger Woods and the fight with his body, his game and his motivation https://t.co/RlXe8H8JmJ
— Bob Harig (@BobHarig) November 18, 2020
ESPN‘s Bob Harig spoke with Tiger Woods on Sunday. He was pretty honest about how things are at this point in his career:
“Well, there are days when mentally I just — it’s hard to push than others just because physically it’s just — my body has moments where it just doesn’t work like it used to,” he said. “No matter how hard I try, things just don’t work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn’t work at times.
“Yes, it is more difficult than others to be motivated at times. Because things just ache and have to deal with things that I’ve never had to deal with before.”
Woods has fought through a litany of injuries and other issues that may ultimately doom his long chase for Jack Nicklaus’ major championship record. After his victory at the 2019 Masters, however, people are going to hold out hope that he can find that top form a few more times and make it to the mountaintop before his career ends.