Faldo: Tiger Woods will 'threaten' at Masters
Tiger — who hasn't won at Augusta since 2005 — is ready for his first Masters since 2015
April 02, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods will play in his first Masters since 2015 this week at Augusta National.
AUGUSTA, Georgia — Three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo is buying into the hype, saying Tiger Woods will “threaten” in his quest for a 15th major championship this week.
Woods is on a mission to add to his 79 PGA TOUR victories and 14 majors, returning to Augusta National for the first time in a playing capacity since a T17 finish in 2015.
Woods has already collected the green jacket four times, but not since 2005. He has finished inside the top six seven times in nine attempts since his last victory.
Still in the middle of his comeback after major back fusion surgery, Woods has looked like a potential winner in his recent TOUR stops. After opening 2018 with a T23 at the Farmers Insurance Open, Woods missed the cut at the Genesis Open, prompting many to suggest he needed more time to get back into the real swing of tournament action.
But a 12th place finish at the Honda Classic was followed by a runner up effort at the Valspar Championship — keeping the hype alive and building. Woods then was in the mix after a Sunday charge at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard before an out of bounds tee shot on the 16th hole scuttled his run and left him T5.
Faldo — who won at Augusta in 1989, 1990 and 1996 — is one of many who is highly anticipating Woods’ return.
“He’s going to threaten,” Faldo said. “He has the potential. His game is amazing. I think he’s ahead of schedule. He’s been in there competing for the last couple of events. That’s the most important thing, you’ve got to climb that ladder and scare yourself.”
Faldo cautioned that Woods need only have figured out what went wrong at Bay Hill, when his tee shot on the 16th started left and hooked harder still to go out of bounds right when he was in the thick of the action.
“If he really can put a finger on why that one is happening (and) erase that … wow, he will definitely be in there,” Faldo said. “How he’s found five more miles per hour in club head speed in his 40s after a fused back is unbelievable.”
Faldo said he believes the 2018 Masters is setting up to be one of the greatest of all time, as multiple players in the field are in great form. The Englishman pointed out several names as contenders, but in the end said it is the man who keeps it all together that will prevail.
“It still comes down to nerve,” Faldo said. “We can play beautifully and swing beautifully and all that, but it is the guy who really has the bottle to hang on or make it happen.”