Tiger Woods: Was his 2020 Masters score the worst of his career?
Even if you know absolutely nothing about golf, you know who Tiger Woods is. Any way you slice it, Woods is a pretty excellent golfer, with 82 all-time PGA Tour victories. But even the best of the best have their off days, and that’s a pretty modest understatement when it comes to Woods’s performance at this year’s Masters Tournament.
To put it bluntly, Tiger Woods just took the worst score of his professional career. After winning the tournament five times, including last year, this year’s tournament should’ve been a cakewalk for him. During last year’s tournament, Woods was clearly headed for that green jacket for the entirety of his run. What happened?
This year’s game
Tiger Woods took an uncharacteristic 10 on the par-3 12th hole, and subsequently hit three balls into Rae’s Creek. On the 12th, with an 8-iron from 155 yards, he hit the green, but then rolled into the creek. He then dropped in front of the creek with seventy yards to the pin, only for the ball to spin into the water again. He took a penalty stroke. Then, the ball skidded across the green and tumbled back into the water.
Even in the face of defeat & embarrassment, a true champion doesn’t quit. Much to his relief, Tiger Woods aced his fifth shot . . . but then hit his sixth back in the water. At this point, Woods was visibly frustrated. He walked slowly and swung aggressively, but who can really blame him?
Things didn’t get much better from there. Tiger Woods was unable to maintain a single-figure score as he pushed his putt to the hole and recorded a 10. He then quickly turned a two-over-par round into a nine-over, which brought him down from 30th to 57th on the letterboard. Yikes!
Why Tiger Woods lost
When asked about his unfortunate performance, Woods said: “I committed to the wrong wind. The wind was off the right for the first two guys, and then when I stepped up there it switched to howling off the left. I didn’t commit to the wind, and I also got ahead of it and pushed it, too, because I thought the wind would come more off the right and it was off the left, and that just started the problem from there.”
“From there,” he continued, “I hit a lot more shots and had a lot more experiences there in Rae’s Creek, and then . . . this is unlike any other sport in which you’re so alone out there and you have to figure it out and you have to fight and no one is going to pull you off the bump and you just have to figure it out.”
“This sport is awfully lonely sometimes,” he said. “You have to fight it. No one is going to bring you off the [pitcher’s] mound or call in a sub. You have to fight through it. That’s what makes this game so unique and so difficult mentally. We’ve all been there, unfortunately. Unfortunately, I’ve been there and you have to turn around and figure out the next shot, and I was able to do that coming home.”
Aging athlete woes
Tiger Woods has also touched on the difficulty of aging as an athlete. At forty-four, he’s not quite as fit as he used to be, despite waking up at four every morning to work out.
“There are days when mentally it’s harder to push than others, just because physically my body just has moments where it just doesn’t work like it used to,” he explained. “No matter how hard I try, things just don’t work the way they used to, and no matter how much I push and ask of this body, it just doesn’t work at times.”
But if there’s anything we can say about Tiger Woods’s Masters performance, it’s that he kept his head up and didn’t let the series of unfortunate events discourage him. So here’s hoping that next year he takes home that championship (and stays out of the water).