RDS and RDS direct present the four rounds of the Masters Tournament. You can also follow the Group of the day, the driving range, the Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13) as well as holes 4, 5, 6, 15 and 16 thanks to our multiplex environment.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods posted his worst total (plus 13) in 24 appearances at the Augusta Masters after the fourth and final round on Sunday, nonetheless completing an unexpected and fascinating return to competition, thirteen months after the accident of car that nearly cost him a leg.
Woods keeps smiling despite a 78
The day before, his plus-6 card, his worst ever conceded on a day, had destroyed his dreams of a 6th coronation, which would have allowed him to equal Jack Niklaus in the rank of the most successful in Georgia and to add a 16th Major on his record to get closer to the 18 of his glorious elder.
The victory, he already knew, will be played between the American Scottie Scheffler, world No. 1, and the Australian Cameron Smith (6th), three strokes apart (minus-9 / minus-6), unless the surprising Korean Sungjae Im (minus-4) does not come to play spoilsport.
This time, Woods didn’t do better, returning a 78, like on Saturday.
Under a bright sun that finally returned and taking advantage of a wind that finally disappeared, he nevertheless started well by making a birdie on the par five of no 2.
But there was no other. Because like the day before, Tiger was betrayed by his putt and chained three bogeys at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. Then two more were added, at Nos. 11 and 14.
On this last hole, however, he managed his best putt of the day, a rolled uphill after a previous one, shorter and doable, finally left to run aground slowly downhill. Enough to get him a smile.
He quickly lost it by doing a double bogey on No. 17. But it was already time for strong but contained emotion, approaching the ultimate green on No. 18, to the cheers fed by a public, whose fervor towards him never wavered during the weekend.
The fans carried him throughout the mythical route where he never dragged his leg despite the fatigue and certainly the pain, even if, during his long walk, we saw him leaning several times on his cane and massage the lumbar of a back that has also been tested after five operations undergone in recent years.
As such, Woods will have finally achieved a great feat, managing to go to the end of the 72 holes.
“I honestly didn’t know if I was going to be back here one day,” he said in a post-round interview. To have unconditional fan support despite not playing my best golf is huge for me. Words cannot describe how I feel, considering where I was just a year ago. »
“To be here at Augusta National and play four rounds. Even a month ago, I had doubts about whether I was going to be able to. I see it as positive, even if I have work ahead of me. »
“It’s still difficult,” he continued. There are still those days when the pain is all over the place and I am unable to get things done. But I have an exceptional team behind me who motivated me to move forward. The days when I feel good are easy. But on more difficult days, you have to learn to get through it. Rehabilitation sessions, with ice baths for example, are far from pleasant. But it works. »
Because he had narrowly avoided the amputation of his right leg, after his exit from the road on February 23, 2021 near Los Angeles, for the multiple open fractures which finally required him to insert a metal rod in the tibia, and screws to strengthen the bones of the foot and ankle.
Tiger says mission accomplished
Tiger had been hospitalized for weeks and unable to walk for months. After 17 months without playing (his last tournament was the 2020 edition of the Masters), he became a golfer again.
And his score takes absolutely nothing away from the immense champion that he is.