Tiger Woods candid in return to Masters interview spotlight
Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters Tournament this week might not be perfect. He hopes he’s at his best, but isn’t about to be worried if it’s not.
“I’ve won here and played here without playing my best, but some part of my game has to be on,” the four-time champion said Tuesday afternoon during a full interview session at Augusta National Golf Club.
Woods’ 25-minute session ranged from the audacity of his 120-mph swing speeds — “It’s crazy, I’ll be honest with you” — to the sartorial choices of Phil Mickelson, who sported a full button-down shirt during their morning practice session. “All that was missing was a tie," he said.
After missing the past two Masters due to injury, Woods’ return has everyone buzzing. Even the man himself.
“I’ll be honest with you. I thought, prior to the fusion surgery, that that’s pretty much it. I’ll have a nice, comfortable great life. I’ll never be able to swing the club that way,” he said.
“But for some reason, I don’t have any pain. Yes, I’m much tighter, I’ve had to work on strength in different ways. But it’s come back, I wish I knew (how).”
The possibility of Woods donning the green jacket for a fifth time has left the golf world dreaming of Sunday storylines, and the word “comeback” was common Tuesday. Woods demurred, saying he not only had to win the tournament to finish the story, but also that he might not be the greatest comeback ever in his own sport.
“I think … that was Mr. Hogan,” he said.
Woods tees off Thursday at 10:42 a.m. with Marc Leishman of Australia and Tommy Fleetwood of England. Their Friday group is scheduled to start at 1:27 p.m.
Near the end of the press conference, Woods acknowledged that he’s been watching the past two years on the sidelines. That hiatus ends Thursday.
“I’ve watched every bit I possibly could. I love the Masters, I’ll always watch it,” he said, going on to praise the tournament committee for its knack for producing an exciting finish
But just before the next question was asked, he interrupted.
“But it’s more fun to play.”