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Tiger at Augusta? "Still Too Soon"
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/27/14
Earlier this week, Tiger Woods told a gathered press delegation that he does not know if his back condition will improve in time for the 78th Masters Tournament. During a press conference announcing that Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his Washington DC-area PGA Tour stop, Woods said the same thing he has been saying all month:
"For Augusta, it's actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you. That's kind of the frustrating thing about this.

"I've had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and just working on trying to get ready for Augusta. As of right now, it's still too soon, which is, as I said, pretty frustrating."
Since he first qualified for The Masters as a teen-ager, Woods has always returned the next year. But earlier this month, he withdrew from the Honda with back spams, then ground his way through the WGC-Cadillac at Doral in pain. He has not played on the PGA Tour since.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell opined in a press gaggle that, in terms of the current competition from younger players, Tiger may have been hoisted by his own petard:
"He's lost that sort of force field of invincibility around him. The aura is not as strong. He's still Tiger Woods, still the greatest player ever in my opinion.

"I don't remember the first time I played with him, but there was a real 'wow' factor. He was playing a different sport than me. But guys get older, stuff happens.

"[Younger players] are not out there believing he is unbeatable because the positive press that happened for ten years has been replaced with some negativity. And there are so many great young players now, it's not just one-offs [of a player here or there]. There are 10s and 20s of these guys. There's a belief level now that you can be 19, 20, 21 and capable of doing it at the biggest level."
Just like Tiger himself, almost two decades ago.

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[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
I think McDowell is correct however I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tiger wins either despite the drama
joe jones says:
When Nicklaus won at age 46 he was already suffering with physical problems. It is inevitable for golfers to have both back and hip problems as they age. Tiger will have to call on his will to win in the future. Not easy to do but if anyone has the ability it is Woods.One more major and part of the dominance would be back. Not all of it but at least some of the awe would show some of the great young stars that it doesn't pay to tweek the Tigers tail.
Matt F says:
IF he plays he won't win...maybe even WD.
joe jones says:
McDowell has already retreated from his statements saying he may have been misquoted. His evaluation seemed pretty accurate. Some of the fear factor is gone. The young guns in the most part have seen a sleeping tiger. Whether they change their attitude depends on what he does, not on how they feel about him now.
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