TIGER WOODS HASN’T MISSED a Masters in 16 years. There are no DNPs beside his name dating back to 1995 when he first qualified to play at Augusta National as a 19-year-old amateur and freshman golfer for the Stanford Cardinal. In other words, Tiger has never missed the Masters. And he won’t miss the 2010 edition either, as he announced today.
“The Masters is where I won my first major,” Tiger said at his Web site, “and I view this tournament with great respect. After a long and necessary time away from the game, I feel like I’m ready to start my season at Augusta.”
Long time away from the game? Really? You sure made it sound like it could be a lot longer.
December 11: “I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf.”
February 19: “I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that day will be.”
In a saga with more twists than Chubby Checker, this may be the first unsurprising thing to happen. If you were rooting hard for Tiger’s Masters return, then you probably should thank CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz. Nantz said in a Golf Magazine interview the Masters would be fine without Tiger. That sealed it. Put his name down. Get his locker ready.
Tiger and the Masters, the Masters and Tiger. They just go together, you know? OK, I’m going to say it. Tiger will never miss a Masters. NEVER. I know I’m sticking my neck way out, but what could possibly stop him now? Whatever you can possibly think up, I’m going to say Tiger could overcome it and appear at Augusta National in mid April. And the April after that and that and that and that.
One final thought. Watch Tiger win it. Wouldn’t that just be the end-all of end-alls? The world would swoon at the sight of Woods slipping into his fifth Green Jacket. Who knows? He might even take Ari Fleisher off retainer.
–The Armchair Golfer
(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)