The golf world has reached a point where it’s unrealistic to expect that Tiger Woods will be 100 percent healthy when competing in a major or any other PGA Tour event in which he has to walk the course.
But entering the Masters this week, Woods’ caddie sought to temper expectations by telling the New York Post that if it weren’t the Masters, the 47-year-old would not be trying to play.
“He’s pretty banged up,” Joe LaCava said, per the newspaper. “If it wasn’t Augusta he probably wouldn’t be playing … He still has the power, the swing speed, the shots and the length to contend. The injury is devastating, but if he could take a cart he could contend tomorrow.”
Woods sustained severe injuries to his right leg and foot in a single-car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021. Less than 14 months later, he made his competitive return at the 2022 Masters and defied the odds by making the cut, going on to finish 47th.
The 15-time major winner and five-time Masters champion has played sparingly since then. His only competitive outing in 2023 thus far came at the Genesis Invitational in February, where he made the cut and tied for 45th.
“Obviously it affected him physically, but I think it got to him mentally because he’s grinding to block out the pain,” LaCava said of that tournament. “I think that messes with you a little bit upstairs, and that’s the first time I saw him trying so hard to block it out mentally.”
LaCava added that he is worried about the weather forecast at Augusta that calls for rain during much of the weekend, which could lead to delays and long makeup days once it clears.
“I can’t imagine him trying to go 27-plus holes (in one day) around here,” LaCava said.
–Field Level Media