On Thursday, April 8, Tiger Woods returned to the Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia after a four month leave of absence. He took the league of absence to deal with his recent publicity involving affairs.
During his time away from golf, Woods entered himself into a sex rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi to receive treatment for his sex addiction.
After four months time away from the game, and little practice, Woods believes he will be ready to tackle one of the most difficult courses on tour. As reported in the Washington Post, “After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.”
Many people had mixed feelings about the star’s return to golf, and some believe Woods should be suspended from the tour for a longer period of time. Grayson Murray, sophomore golfer at Leesville, believes that Wood’s return would only help the game. “Golf just is not the same without him, I know I am not watching [golf] without him,” said Murray.
Also, there were speculations that after such a long absence Woods would not be prepared for a more challenging course. With no media allowed on the course, however, Woods would be able to focus more on his game rather than his off course controversy.
Murray also commented on how he believed Woods would perform. “I think he will do really well, but the first round will decide how he does the rest of the weekend.”
Woods started the tournament off strong birdying the first hole. He would finish the day with a score four under par, just two strokes off the lead.
Woods entered the final round on Sunday behind only four strokes behind leader Lee Westwood. Although four strokes off the lead, Woods still had a legitimate shot to win the Masters. Nick Wheeler, senior, believed otherwise. “I did not think he had a chance because there were too many quality players in front of him.” Wheeler was referring to two time Masters Champ Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood, and K.J. Choi, all top players on the PGA tour.
On Sunday everyone waited for Woods to make his move up the leader board, but the push never came. Woods shot a 69, three strokes under par, but it would not be enough to catch Mickelson who pulled away from the field shooting a 67, winning the Masters.
Woods would finish the tournament tied for fourth place. “He did better than expected,” said Connor Ingle, senior. Considering the time off, finishing fourth place in one of the most prestigious tournaments would be an ideal finish for any other player except Woods.
In an interview after completing the course on Sunday, Woods explained how finishing fourth did not satisfy him. Woods entered the tournament; therefore he expected to win it. “I finished fourth. I’m obviously not where I need to be. Too many mistakes. I hit the ball too poorly on the weekend.”
This just goes to show that if Woods does not play his best game he can still contend for a major championship, and even with the time off he can still be considered one of the top players in golf today.