Woods optimistic heading into weekend at the Masters
April 10, 2015
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods bounced back from an opening-round 73 after a Friday round of 69 featuring four birdies and one bogey. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Finally feeling some positive vibes about his golf game, Tiger Woods is not ready to concede.
Fresh off a 3-under 69 – his first round in the 60s on the PGA TOUR since July 31 of last year – Woods walked off the course Friday at the Masters at 2 under for the tournament … and 12 strokes off the lead held by Jordan Spieth.
History indicates that Woods will not be adding to his major championship total of 14 wins this week. After all, the biggest 36-hole rally in Masters history is eight strokes. But don’t tell Tiger that.
“I’m still right there,” Woods said. “I’m 12 back, but there’s not a lot of guys ahead of me. And with 36 holes here to go, anything can happen, you know? ’96 proved that.”
Ah, 1996. Woods was still an amateur when Nick Faldo rallied from six strokes down to start the final round, taking advantage of Greg Norman’s collapse to win his third Green Jacket.
Woods is looking forward to seeing what Augusta National officials decide to do with the course, whether to toughen it up on the weekend or continue to make the course ripe for scoring.
“It’s quiet out there. There’s no sub-airs going,” Woods said. “If they turn the sub-airs on, they can suck the moisture out of this thing and get them firm, or they can live with it like it is, and we can go out there and make a bunch of birdies.
“…So many holes to play and so many different things can happen, ”Woods said. “We don’t know what the conditions are going to be tomorrow, what the committee is going to do.”
Woods does know he’s feeling good about his game, that his hard work the last eight weeks on his revamped swing is finally paying off. He managed his 69 while only making one birdie on the par 5s.
“To put it together and put it in a position where I can compete in a major championship like this is something I’ve very proud.”
Perhaps Woods also had some motivation from his good buddy Mark O’Meara. The 58-year-old shot a 4-under 68 and enters Saturday one stroke ahead of Woods on the leaderboard.
“Seeing the old man’s name up on the board, he’s probably, ‘Wait a minute, I can’t let that guy beat me.’ " O'Meara joked.
“He seems like he’s in a really good place mentally and physically. I see more of the old Tiger Woods in my opinion. His pitching Monday and Tuesday, I didn’t see any inclination of a guy that’s struggling around the greens. What was going on before, I’m not sure.
“But he certainly looks like he’s on the way back.”