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US Masters 2022 – Tiger Woods: “I’ve got a chance going into the weekend”

After his opening round of 71 at the US Masters 2022, Tiger Woods came into the clubhouse at Augusta National on day two with a 74, leaving him T19 heading into the weekend. In an interview after the round, the 46-year-old talks about the difficulties of the round, the prospects for the weekend and the state of his body.

Tiger Woods fights his way back

“It was windy. It was swirling. Balls were oscillating on the greens,” Tiger Woods said of the fierce winds that made life difficult for the players at Augusta National. “We got a couple of bad gusts. I hit a couple of bad shots”, Woods explained the bogeys. Following the early setbacks, the goal was to leave the course with even par, the five-time Masters winner revealed after the round. This plan did not quite work out and Woods was annoyed about missed opportunities on the 15th and 16th holes.

“Other than that it was a good fight. I got back in the ball game. I’m four shots back at second. That’s the thing. But Scottie is running away with it right now,” Woods summed up, looking at the leaderboard of the 86th Masters Tournament. Tomorrow is going to be tough. It’s going to be windy. It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be the Masters that I think the Masters Committee has been looking forward to for a number of years. We haven’t had it like this.

The body like a car

Until his round starts on Saturday, the key for Tiger Woods is to regenerate. “I don’t feel as good as I would like to feel,” the reconvalescent recapped. “I expected to be sore and not feel my best for sure. He thanked his team in particular for always “fixing” him and compared his body to a NASCAR series car. “I’m good at breaking it. They’re good at fixing it.”

To even tee it up again at the 2022 US Masters, Woods also had to relearn the feel of golf. That’s why the practice rounds in Florida and at Augusta National were very important. “I was able to practice and get my touch, practice on my short game, hit a lot of putts, which was great,”explained Woods, who had not played competitively on PGA Tour “in forever” and so had also lost his eye for the breaks on the greens. “So it’s taken a little bit to get used to it, but I finally got my eye back.”

Chances of winning the US Masters 2022?

Now Woods heads into the weekend of the US Masters 2022 14 months after his serious car accident – an incredible achievement. And the superstar himself even believes he has a chance to win. “I’ve got a chance going into the weekend,” Tiger indicated. “You’ve seen guys do it with a chance going into the back nine.”

Even before the tournament, Woods had said he believed he could win his sixth event at Augusta. In any case, the Hall-of-Famer only wanted to compete if he could also compete for victories. Now Tiger Woods wants to put himself in just that position by Sunday. “If you are within five or six going into the back nine, anything can happen. I need to get myself there. That’s the key. I need to get myself there.”

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US Masters 2022: Matthew Wolff destroys his club after only four holes

Matthew Wolff and the Masters – a story all of its own. In his third participation in the prestigious Major at Augusta National Golf Club, things once again did not go entirely the way planned for the young American. The 22-year-old destroyed his club after only four holes of the US Masters 2022.

Matthew Wolff had a disastrous start to the US Masters 2022

Wolff had already started the tournament with a double bogey after he got stuck on the edge of the fairway bunker, only reached the green with his third shot and holed out from long distance with a three-putt. The one-time winner on the PGA Tour also recorded a 6 on his scorecard on the following hole – this time for a bogey. After another bogey, Matthew Wolff was already four-over-par after three holes of the US Masters 2022. Then, as his tee shot on hole 4, a par-3, landed in the greenside bunker, Wolff let off some steam – the club had to suffer.

At least for a few holes, the action obviously helped, because the American managed the par save from the sand and three pars followed. But things got even worse for Wolff as the round progressed. The three-time Masters participant collected six more bogeys and was only able to make two birdies at Augusta National. With nine strokes over par, Wolff is at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Wolff and the Masters – it’s complicated

For Wolff, this continues a string of frustrating performances at Augusta National. He missed the cut in his first appearance at the November Masters in 2020, and last year Wolff was disqualified after the second round. The reason: the then 21-year-old had registered an incorrect score on hole 17 and was therefore excluded from the tournament. Now the 45th in the world rankings is in danger of missing the cut again after a nine-over round.

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US Masters 2022: Paul Casey withdraws just before tee time

Paul Casey had to withdraw from the tournament shortly before his tee time for the first round of the US Masters 2022 due to an injury. He would have started at 4:53pm alongside Bryson DeChambeau and Players champion Cameron Smith and withdrew just minutes before. This means Casey, who is one of the best players without a win in one of the four major tournaments, will miss out on a chance to win one of the big titles. At already 44 years old, the Englishman is running out of time to hit the big time. On the Wednesday before the Masters, he still took part in the par-3 contest with his family.

Paul Casey already injured before the US Masters 2022?

Already at the end of March at the WGC Dell Match Play, Casey had to concede his first match after two holes due to back problems. He then did not play in any of the other matches. All three matches of the group phase were scored for his opponents. Nevertheless, he received 40,000 euros in prize money as the last player in the group. “The pain I feel is in my lower back, on the left side, it’s like a cramp,” Casey explained at the time. According to the physiotherapist, it is the gluteal muscle.

“The back issues are persistent and thus preventing me from being able to compete. I shall now focus on my treatment and recovery so I can return to competitive form as soon as possible,” Casey explained his withdraw from the US Masters 2022.

Since the US Masters is an invitational tournament, there is no list of players who advance if someone else withdraws, as is the case with normal tour events. So at least Casey cannot be accused of having made his decision earlier.

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Augusta National Golf Club as a normal person: the good ones stay below 100

There are plenty of them, places of longing, with which the average golfer would like to measure himself. One of them surely being Augusta National Golf Club. Anyone who doesn’t have a “bucket list” in this regard, as it’s called, probably lacks the sense of dreamy longing. Many of these flags on the golf globe are certainly attainable – if the appropriate travel budget is available, no pandemic is currently grounding air traffic and blocking the joy of travel, one has a lucky hand in a starting time draw … And so on.

Experience before result?

For many, Augusta National, where the 86th Masters is currently being held, is probably high up on the leaderboard. So, assuming there was a chance for the once-in-a-lifetime pleasure of a round of the legendary course behind Magnolia Lane – and there is – how would “normal mortals” fare on the Major turf between hole 1, “Tea Olive,” and 18, “Holly”? Or would the result not matter anyway, because the experience outweighs everything?

Colleague Auf der Heyde and his birdie at the 16

That was the case for our colleague Peter Auf der Heyde. The South African, who has been reporting on-site from the Masters for Golf Post for many years, was one of the chosen few at the traditional “after-work” golf for media representatives in 2013 and was allowed onto the course of the Augusta National Golf Club on Monday after Adam Scott’s play-off triumph over Angel Cabrera.

“On the first hole,” Peter writes of that day of all days, “I felt like Scott [in the playoff] on the tenth.” And when the mid-handicapper shot birdie on “Redbud,” the par-3 16th, from the tournament tees moreover, “none of the world’s best golfers would have beaten me on that hole, because there was no hole-in-one in the four rounds.” By then, at the latest, the overall score was a minor matter anyway; even today, Auf der Heyde “merely” goes into raptures when asked about 2013. So it doesn’t help.

High 90 on a perfect day

Let’s perhaps quote the playing professionals instead of the writer. The answers are unanimously sobering. At “Golf.com” Jason Day once said in 2018: “Someone with a 15 handicap? If you’re in a really good mood, everything goes according to plan and the weather also plays along, then maybe a mid to high 90 is in there. But for that, everything really has to fit.” Of course: “Under tournament conditions, an average golfer will never crack 100 – no chance! Something between 100 and 105 would be possible, I would say. On a bad day, more like 110,” added Adam Hadwin at the time.

Incidentally, the worst Masters round by an active player “ever” was completed by US amateur Charlie Kunkle in 1956. The self-taught golfer needed 95 strokes for the par-72 layout on the final Sunday and finished the tournament with a total score of 340 (52 over par). By comparison, then-winner Jack Burke Jr. of Texas had a 289-stroke total.

“The breaks are huge”

Augusta National’s green complexes in particular are a brutal touchstone, their enormous undulations and false fronts, as well as the undulating surface contours, forming the true defensive bulwark of the vaunted terrain. “It’s mainly the chipping and putting that counts,” Nick Wright noted for Today’s Golfer. The 8.1 handicap journalist played Augusta two years ago and says, “The breaks on the greens are tremendous.”

On 16, where Peter Auf der Heyde had holed out from 40 centimeters to win the shot six years earlier, Wright aimed for a break of 1.2 meters and had to be corrected by the caddie: “Better aim for three meters!” The player did as instructed and felt he was “putting 90 degrees off the hole.” Nevertheless, the ball ran straight into the target with a clean curve – also for birdie.

Speed control is the key at Augusta National Golf Club

“The most difficult thing for mid handicappers is the uneven lies around and on the greens,” says equally Rickie Fowler, who would be playing his eleventh Masters this year, meanwhile has slipped to world number 95 and therefore has to watch. “Even if you play the ball ‘in regulation’ in the middle of the green, the par is by no means certain,” he said. “A good putt can still end up 1.5 to 1.8 meters from the hole – and then converting those is no fun at Augusta, and certainly not a given.” Speed control is key on the greens, he said, and three-putts should be more the norm for amateurs and already a success.

Hardly bad locations – but the bunkers…

For all that, the course itself, with its sweeping fairways, is “pretty benign from the members’ tees,” judges Nick Wright: “With a little precision, it’s easy to keep the ball in play. There are hardly any bad lies, even off the fairways, in the ‘second cut’ or even in the pine litter.” Dr. Alister MacKenzie, the mastermind behind the congenial creative duo with Bobby Jones, wasn’t big on rough; he wanted to see a weak shot punished not by ball loss or chopping, but by an awkward angle of play; that philosophy holds true to this day.

Moreover, the Scottish architect was stingy with bunkers for cost reasons, but the twelve in the fairways and the 32 around the greens are really something despite the innocent-looking white sand. Literally. The hazards are deep, and it is often difficult to see over the edge from the bottom of the fairway; it is not unusual for a sideways escape shot to be the better option.

The real genius of design

What impresses everyone who experiences Augusta National Golf Club is the ondulation and expansiveness of the terrain. On hole 10, for example, the tee is 34 meters above the green.

And although holes 1 and 18, 2 and 8, and 3 and 7 run almost parallel, it is almost a “day trip” to Amen Corner and the wonderful “Golden Bell” (hole 12) as the centerpiece.

You don’t have to favor Parkland golf to still state that the Masters course is a perfect course: full of beauty and tranquility, varied and strategic, spiced with “risk-and-reward” options, well dosed with water. “The most striking feature, however,” says Nick Wright in “Today’s Golfer,” “is the fact of offering golfers of any skill level the appropriate challenge. In this, in particular, the real genius of its design is revealed.”

Game with highest scores per hole

The 8.1 handicapper shot a fine 81 in his round – from the Members Tees; he found the course “manageable and well playable.” Nevertheless, the “bunkered” portal had the fun of extrapolating the worst possible round at Augusta National. For each hole, the highest score ever played in Masters history was picked out – Ernie Els’ 9 on hole one in 2016, for example, Henrik Stenson’s 8 on the fourth in 2011, Tom Weiskopf’s 13 on the 12th in 1980 or Sergio Garcia’s 13 on the 15th three years ago.

No matter on which hole, the “worst case” was everywhere at least 7 strokes, and in total a notional round score of 169 comes out. In words: one hundred and sixty-nine. 78 for the first nine, 91 for the second, 97 over par. At least to underplay that should be doable.

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Augusta National Golf Club: How to play a round at the world’s most exclusive golf club

Every year, the golf world gathers in front of the TV to watch the pros play the US Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. “Magnolia Lane” leading to the clubhouse, Amen Corner, which has caused many a superstar to despair, and a golf course in perfect condition – the mere thought of Augusta National gives golf fans goose bumps. However, the dream of playing the fairway of the legendary course remains unfulfilled for most. The National Club Golfer shows you how you still have a (admittedly very small) chance of swinging a club in the Mecca of golf one day.

How to play the course at Augusta National Golf Club

As a member of the Augusta National Golf Club, you always have the opportunity to play the course. Only the very fewest are accepted into the select circle of usually around 300 members. Therefore, we take a look at the possibilities to play the Augusta National Golf Club without becoming a member.

As a top amateur golfer

Beginning in 2019, the world’s top women amateur golfers will have a chance to play a round at Augusta National. Although the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship will be played at the Champions Retreat Golf Club on the first two days, after the cut the top 30 will play the final round at Augusta National Golf Club. As a consolation for the rest of the field, all players are allowed to play a practice round on the legendary course on the Friday before the final round.

As an employee at Augusta National

Whether volunteering at the US Masters, caddying for the club or holding another position at Augusta National Golf Club, employees get to play the course. Since the same volunteers help out at the US Masters every year over the tournament days in Augusta, it’s not easy to get on the course this way. If you do make it, you play the course a month after the tournament with the other volunteers. Caddies and other employees have the chance to enter the course with their bag once a year.

As a student

If you study at Georgia Regents University and play on the golf team there, you are particularly lucky. Because once a year, students are invited to the Augusta National Golf Club. And those who study at Emory, Queen’s, Western Ontario or Georgia Tech universities have the opportunity to receive a scholarship to the university in St. Andrews and, in the course of this, to play once on the Augusta National course.

As a member of Augusta Country Club

According to the National Club Golfer, if you are a member of the neighboring Augusta Country Club, you also have the opportunity to tee it up at Augusta National. It is common for members from the country club to be recruited as flight partners if there are not enough players at the National Golf Club for a flight of four.

As an author about the club

Golf Digest’s David Owen gained access to Augusta National in a special way. As part of his book, “The Making of The Masters,” the club allowed the author to play a few rounds with members on the course. “One of them was getting married one day and there was a party at 5 p.m. in the golf store. We realized we weren’t going to make it in time and went straight from the tenth green to the 15th tee. So we skipped Amen Corner. But by that time I had played the holes so many times that I didn’t even notice,” Owen writes about his experience.

As the winner of the lottery among media representatives

If you manage to get accreditation for the US Masters as a journalist – which is difficult enough in itself – you have the chance to win a round of 18 holes in a lottery. 20 media representatives play the course on Monday, the day after the big tournament.

As a friend of a member

The safest way to get into the Augusta National Golf Club is probably to become a member. However, the full list of members is not known and only very few golf fans are likely to get along well with Jack Nicklaus, for example. Despite numerous opportunities, it remains almost impossible for the amateur golfer to set foot on the “hallowed turf”.

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US Masters 2022: Bryson DeChambeau plays despite injuries

In recent weeks and months, headlines have not reported Bryson DeChambeau’s strong performances, but his numerous health problems. Among them his wrist problems and hip pain. On Monday, he spoke about his health condition and how he is dealing with it at the 2022 US Masters. An important message for his fans: He will compete, but he is not yet back to 100 percent performance.

Bryson DeChambeau: “I’m at 80 percent performance”

DeChambeau is back in Augusta and training together with his coaching team. But due to his injuries, he can’t follow his usual training path. “I can give about 80 percent right now,” he answered in an interview when asked about his form. “That’s why I can’t do swing speed training and I have to train smarter in general. I have to be careful and effective in the things I practice.” But DeChambeau also sees improvement in recent weeks, just in time for the 2022 U.S. Masters. “I’m proud that I made it here in such a short time. I’m pleased with that,” he said. ““Hitting golf balls on the range today, I was able to sustain practice for a good amount of time,” he said. Despite his weaker form, he still manages a ball speed of around 190 miles per hour.

US Masters 2022: Doctors advise against participation

DeChambeau’s hip injury developed two years ago, he explained in an interview. The small tear in his hip labrum first became relevant when he slipped “Charlie Brown-like” during a table tennis match against Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann in front of the Saudi International and fell on said hip, as well as his injured hand.
After that, DeChambeau underwent CTs and MRIs resulting in a hairline fracture of the hamate bone. This common injury, especially among baseball players, could also stem from his excessive workouts at the driving range, according to DeChambeau. Back in November, he was probably struggling with problems in his hand: “Last November, before I played against Brooks, I felt something. There was something on my hand that kind of popped, and I was like, ‘Ah, this isn’t normal.’ It didn’t really feel good either. It was hard to hit balls.”
The American’s injuries usually entail a four-month break, but DeChambeau was back on the golf course after just two months. This decision is not without risks and in the worst case could lead to surgery one his left hand. But for DeChambeau, one thing is certain, “the Masters is only once a year and I have to give it a go.”

For “The Hulk,” the last six weeks off were not a punishment. He himself said he used the time to give back to his viewers and to golf. “It’s really made me a different person, and – I hope – a better person who also has a different perspective on the game of golf.” He also learned to listen to his body better and give himself rest breaks, he said.
But despite that positive outlook, his comeback to the golf course was frustrating. After six weeks without playing practice, his rounds were marked by shouts of “Fore.” “It’s just not fun. It’s very difficult on your mental psyche as well.”

Bryson DeChambeau wants to take it slower

For him, the last few months have been a learning phase. He had to deal with the first major injury of his career and (at least partially) revise many attitudes toward sports. “You have to pay attention to every part of your body,” he explained in the interview. Still, he said he continues to enjoy pushing his limits and making improvements as a result. Due to his injuries, however, that approach hasn’t necessarily been possible, “i’ve taken more of a reserved approach now through this season, I’ll start ramping back up when I feel 100 percent again.” For now, he is confident of playing up front again at Augusta, despite his weaker form. “It’s been a bit of unravelling this knot that I’ve had in my game for the past four years,” he said of his search for greater consistency with his swing. “We’re finally moving in a direction that I feel is positive for me being able to win again, hopefully, regularly like I did in 2018.”

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Study shows: One in 20 would quit their job for a round at Augusta National

It is probably the dream of every amateur golfer to play at Augusta National Golf Club once in their life. An American study has now found out what people would be willing to do to be able to tee it up on the “holy” turf. The survey also shows how much people would be willing to pay and who they would play the round with if the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself.

“Shave my head” is the undisputed number 1

In less than a week, the 86th Masters starts in Augusta. Reason enough to think about how far you would go to complete a round on the “holy” turf. The website time2play.com has dealt with precisely this question as part of a study and asked around 1,000 people this question and more.

By far the most common answer to the question “What would you do to play a round at Augusta National?” was “Shave my head.” 43.2% of all respondents would say goodbye to their hair in order to experience the 18 holes on what is probably the most famous golf course in the world. Also on the winner’s podium is “Stop drinking for a year” with 35.8%, closely followed by “Give up video games for three years” with 35.1%.

Other curious responses such as “Get a visible tattoo” or even “Put my kids up for adoption” can also be found among the answers. Somewhat surprisingly, one in 20 people would even be willing to give up their job just to be able to tee it off in Augusta. Giving away one’s own car, by the way, landed only on rank 14. Atleast a few people still have a little sense for clever decision because only 0.7% would be ready to give up their house for the 18-hole round. That would probably also be a bit too much of a good thing…

$1,165 for a round of golf at Augusta National with friends

The study also looked at how much people would be willing to pay instead of shaving their heads. The answers here ranged from $388 to well over $3,000. Of course, the sums differ depending on income, but on average, with an annual income of around $71,000, respondents are willing to pay a sum of $1,165 for an 18-hole round at Augusta. For the same money, you could book yourself a week’s vacation, but of course it’s up to each person to decide what they’d like to spend their money on.

If the opportunity to play on the “holy” turf should actually arise, the only question that remains is: Who should actually accompany me? The survey also found answers to this question. The top answer was: “With a friend. In second place was “Dad,” while third place went to the living legend of golf: Tiger Woods.

Other popular answers included spouses, siblings or other family members. But other famous names such as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson also received more than 2% of the votes each.

In the end, it will probably remain just a dream for the majority anyway, because the venue of the Masters is probably the most exclusive golf course of its kind.

For more information on the study check out https://time2play.com/blog/what-golfers-would-do-to-play-augusta/

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Comeback at The Masters? – Tiger Woods practices at Augusta National

With the first Major of the year just ahead, speculation is getting fuelled about a return of Tiger Woods to golf’s biggest stage. Will arguably the greatest golfer of all time, recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, make his comeback after his serious accident around 13 months ago at Augusta National, where he already celebrated his sporting revival in 2019? In any case, the 46-year-old is still listed in the field of players for the prestigious major and now the superstar has already flown to Augusta a week before the start of the tournament.

Tiger Woods: Practice round at Augusta National

On Tuesday morning local time, the private jet of the 15-time major winner landed at the local airport, in the afternoon Tiger Woods played a practice round at the legendary golf club at Magnolia Lane. Together with his fellow Justin Thomas and son Charlie, with whom he already excelled at the PNC Championship last December, Woods played all 18 holes at Augusta National. An insider told ESPN: “He looked good to me.”

Prior to that, the five-time Masters winner had also played a few rounds at his home club, The Medalist in Jupiter, Florida (USA), to test out the resilience of the right leg he had injured so badly. Now it’s time for the ultimate test at Augusta National, which not only demands a lot from the player in terms of golf, but also represents a real test of endurance due to its long paths and hilly courses.

“He’s gonna tee it up”

The fact that he was accompanied by his caddie, Joe LaCava, fuels hopes that Tiger Woods will make a comeback soon. “He’s gonna tee it up, I think,” Colt Knost, a former PGA Tour pro, said on “The Drop Zone” podcast, for example. “I know Joe and Tiger are close, but I don’t see Joe flying down to Florida just to carry his bag and hang out.” Knost also believes Woods would have already cancelled his participation in the first major of the year if he knew he couldn’t play.

Brad Faxon, a pro on the PGA Tour Champions, also has high hopes for Tiger, but thinks a return anytime soon is less likely. “I’m continually amazed by the things Tiger Woods can do. And, if he puts his mind together and feels OK, can he, ranked 944th in the world, come back and play at the Masters and then could he contend? It would be an unbelievable Ben Hogan-like success story.” the American said of the speculation. “My emotion wants him to play,” the 60-year-old explained, but “if I had to bet money I would say it’s probably less than 50/50.”

Participation at the Masters 2022?

Whether Tiger Woods will really make his comeback at the US Masters 2022 at Augusta National remains to be seen. As a former champion, the superstar is obviously seeded in the field and can take his time deciding whether or not to play until the tournament begins. The first Major of the year at Augusta National will be played from 7 to 10 April.

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US Masters 2020 Tiger Woods: “I got off to a fast start today”

Tiger Wood remarks on his bogey free first round at the US Masters 2020.

US Masters 2020: Tiger Woods Interview

Q. That was a pretty good start today; can you just talk about the whole day and how you felt?  

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, I did everything well.  I drove it well, hit my irons well, putted well.  The only real bad shot I hit today was I think 8.  I had a perfect number with a 60 degree sand wedge and I hit it on the wrong shelf.  Other than that, I just did everything well.  The only thing I could say is that I wish I could have made a couple more putts.  I missed everything on the high side.  Putts just aren’t moving, so it’s just different with as slow as they are and then with the weather delay, the amount of rain they’ve had.  The golf course is going to change a lot.  You hear all the SubAir is on, so it’ll change over the next few days. 

Q. What about the rough; it’s higher than ever, right? 

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, they haven’t been able to put mowers on it, and yeah, it is high.  The guys that drive the ball in the rough, if you have a down grain lie, yeah, you can get to the green, maybe even control it, but you’ve got to    when the grain is sitting down, there’s really no chance, so you’re going to have to rely on short game and angles.  

Q. Was it weird starting on 10 or how did that factor into the round?  

TIGER WOODS:  Yeah, there were a lot of differences today, playing on 1 and 10 today.  This morning I was on the putting green putting and getting ready for my round, and when they were introducing Gary, we were on the putting green and we couldn’t hear them.  There was a drone flying over the putting green.  Down 1 today you could hear the drone over there.  You don’t hear drones here.  There’s no patrons, no roars.  Yes, as the camera guys would say, where did the ball end up, because we just don’t know.  That’s very different.  A lot of firsts today.  That’s kind of the way this entire year has been.  The fact that we’re able to compete for a Masters this year, considering all that’s been going on, it’s a great opportunity for all of us.  

Q. What is the satisfaction level of a fast start at a place where you always haven’t had fast starts?  

TIGER WOODS:  Well, yeah.  I got off to a fast start today, which is good, but I think everyone is.  Everyone is going low out there today.  With these conditions, you have to.  You have to be aggressive.  There’s no reason why you can’t fire at a lot of the flags.  Like today on 5, I hit a little squeezer off the tee and had 227 to the hole, hit a 4 iron to the back edge and it only rolled out a foot.  That doesn’t happen here.  

There are balls    wedges that are ripping back, that you have to watch spin.  That’s probably not the case, you’re trying to find spin around here.  But this is the way the golf course is going to play for the next couple days.  As I said, you can hear all the SubAir is on, so it’ll be a little bit different. 

Q. Did you surprise yourself out there today, even what you knew about your game coming in? 

TIGER WOODS:  Well, I think that understanding how to play this golf course is so important.  I was saying there that I’ve been lucky enough to have so many practice rounds throughout my career with so many past champions, and I was able to win this event early in my career and build myself up for the understanding that I’m going to come here each and every year, and the fact that this tournament is played on the same venue each and every year, you have to (indiscernible) every time.  So understanding how to play it is a big factor, and it’s one of the reasons why early in my career that I saw Jack contending a lot, I saw Raymond contending late in his career, now Bernhard and Freddy always contend here late in their careers.  Just understanding how to play this golf course was a big part of it.  

Q. You mentioned the lack of roars.  Was that something that had an impact on you?  Did you have to get used to not hearing    

TIGER WOODS:  Well, we’re trying to get used to that this entire year.  It’s so different.  Shane was telling me today that it was pretty exciting last week to have the energy level of 200 people out there following his group.  We haven’t had that this entire year.  It’s been very different.  This world that we live in is not what we’ve had the last    throughout my career, and that’s something we’re going to have to get used to for some time.  

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US Masters 2020: Paul Casey: “It was a glorious day for golf”

US Masters 2020: Paul Casey talks to the media

THE MODERATOR:  Ladies and gentlemen, it’s our pleasure to welcome Paul Casey to the interview room today.  Paul, welcome to the press building.  Paul, you equalled your low round of the fourth round of 2018 here with a 65, and you started 10, you started on No. 10, and with a birdie, and then you followed it with birdies on 13, 15, 16, 6, and you also had the eagle on 2.  Tell us a little bit about what it was like to start the 2020 Masters on No. 10 and build the momentum from there. 

PAUL CASEY:  Let me look at my scorecard.  I don’t see my birdie on 10, but I did birdie 10.  

First, starting on 10 was strange because it’s not the easiest tee shot.  I much prefer starting on 1.  I find 10 a tricky tee shot, but I actually feel fortunate because I feel like if I teed off on time at 7:44, those conditions were pretty tough.  

I was not relishing the challenge ahead waking up in the rain this morning, so I felt like, to be honest, that was a very good break that I capitalized on because it was a glorious day for golf, really, after that.  The guys that had to play a couple of holes this morning, I think they got a little bit of a rough draw but only for two holes. 

It was a great round.  I got through Amen Corner unscathed, and picked one up on 13.  And yeah, it was just very, very solid golf.  And for me the difficult kind of key holes out there, holes like 1 and 5, 7, you have to hit a good tee shot.  

I did the right things when I needed to, and to be honest, you rarely walk off this golf course going, it could have been two or three better, but it kind of felt that way.  I don’t want to be greedy.  I’m very, very happy with my 65. 

[gpalbum id=5487]

Q. Obvious stuff here, Paul, in your 14th appearance, what was the biggest difference?  What was noticeable to you as you were going about, not just the birdies, but everything? 

PAUL CASEY:  You’re talking about this 2020 version of the Masters?  

Q. Pretty much.  

PAUL CASEY:  You know, this is something I’ve looked forward to.  I with as vocal earlier in the year at Harding Park about not enjoying golf in a pandemic.  I’m acutely aware of    I’m in a very fortuitous position.  I still get to be a professional golfer and play championship golf, but I didn’t know how the fanless experience would be.  And so far, I’ve not enjoyed it, and I’ve lacked    I felt like the lack of energy for me.  I’ve had nothing or very little to draw from being out playing tournament golf.  

The Masters, though, this week    it still has a buzz to it.  There’s an energy and a little bit of a vibe.  Yes, it’s clearly a lot less than what we are used to, but there’s something about this place that is still    I felt excited to be here.  

As soon as I stepped foot on property on Monday, I’ve never been to happy to pass a COVID 19 test in my life.  Was genuinely nervous about that.  I don’t know why I was nervous because my protocols haven’t changed.  The kids were denied from going out on play dates last week.  Can’t go on play dates.  Dad’s got to go to the Masters next week.  

You know, the beauty of the place is probably even more so this week.  I’ve been fortunate to play this golf course outside of tournament week, and it’s quite a special experience this week.  

Q. Where do you think the buzz comes from? 

PAUL CASEY:  I guess the history.  I mean, the golf course itself is part of it.  The history of this championship, this tournament.  So many people like myself are just excited to play this.  You know, this is a treat.  It always has been and always will be a real treat.  There’s many great golfers who are not here this week because they are not high enough in the rankings or how they didn’t qualify, and they are envious of every single player in the field.  

So for me, it’s not lost on me.  

Q. When you see, you look at the leaderboard, you probably haven’t had a whole lot of time to look and see how everybody else is playing, you see familiar names up here at this tournament that are kind of up there toward the top year after year after year.  Is there absolutely no surprise to see Westy’s name up there or Woods’s name up there? 

PAUL CASEY:  Zero surprise to see Westy.  He’s so good.  He continues to be world class.  He knows this place better than I do.  Very few guys know it better than I do, but he’s one of them.  

No, it’s no surprise.  I love the fact Paul Tesori was talking    he was talking Webb    he wasn’t talking Webb down, but he’s just like, “There’s no way for my man Webb to compete.”  I think Webb might have played a practice round with Dustin and some other guys, and he’s just seen    obviously Webb’s approach or style of golf is very different to a lot of the guys talked about this week, and there he is, 5 under.  

So what does Paul Tesori know about Webb Simpson.  

No surprise.  Matsuyama, Oosty, this golf course, look, some would say it’s the same old kind of names up there, but this golf course, to me, exposes what a guy has got.  I’m not saying it’s the ultimate test.  There are different types of tests of golf around the world, but this particular test you have to do certain things very, very well, and predominately the best players in the world always rise to the top this week.  

Q. Is there anything special that you have worked with your coach on that has allowed you to play so well in the majors this year?  

PAUL CASEY:  No.  No.  I actually had not seen Peter Kostis for quite a while in the summer.  He was up in Maine, and I was in Arizona, and we didn’t cross paths.  We tried to do a lot of work remotely, which wasn’t massively productive.  And I actually wasn’t swinging it very well through the vast majority of this season.  Since getting back, and all the way through to the last few weeks, poor performances in Vegas and California, and it was like a crash course the last two weeks.  

The last two weeks, I spent a lot of time actually on tempo.  Tempo, big turn, tried to hit the ball maybe a little bit harder than normal, and that was really it.  So the tempo was the big thing, that worked all the way through the game, because the tempo wasn’t the same with the driving and with the putting, and normally for me it is.  

For me, the putting and the chipping, I was a little slow.  Maybe a little quick on some of the irons.  So it was all just trying to get things matched up, and it seems to have kind of paid dividends the last two weeks. 

Q. Following up on that, it was mentioned in the broadcast that you are working with Peter on trying to chase some distance.  How is that going, and what was the impetus to do so? 

PAUL CASEY:  It was more so, rather than anything we’ve been seeing recently with certain players, it was more I hadn’t seen Peter through the summer, and he came back and goes, “You’re not hitting it as hard as you normally do.”  He goes, “You’re hitting it poorly because you’re trying not to make mistakes, you’re trying not to make errors.  I need you to make a bigger turn and smash it like you normally do.”  

I was like, “Are we chasing distance here?”  

He goes, “No, I just want you to hit it like you normally do.  You have plenty of length, speed in there.”  He goes, “Well, why don’t you actually    you know, why don’t you push it a little bit, kind of hit some a little harder, and hopefully you’ll fall back into your regular kind of tempo and regular speed.”  

So it was less about chasing distance.  I’m not    look, I’m not    I’m 43.  I stuck a couple on Instagram last week, a couple of 184 ball speeds.  I think I got one up to 190, which is pretty good for me.  I tend not to talk about it.  I don’t think I can    no, I’m not going to talk about chasing distance.  I just need to hit    guys who play with me know that there’s plenty of length there.  

Q. What was the difference between this year and last year, other than 16 strokes? 

PAUL CASEY:  The first round?  

Q. Yeah.  

PAUL CASEY:  I have no idea.  I don’t know.  Just rubbish.  But I played some decent golf in 2019 overall.  Just not the first round of the Masters.  I don’t know why it was rubbish.  

Q. Speak to us, to the media (indiscernible) dinner, so maybe it was that. 

PAUL CASEY:  Maybe it was that.  Yeah, that’s right.  Nothing was different.  It wasn’t any extra glass of red wine or anything like that.  In fact, I’ve not had a glass of red wine this week.  Maybe that was it.  I don’t know.  

I’m not blaming anybody.  I take full responsibility.  It was rubbish.  As many rounds of golf as I’ve    14 appearances, Doug said.  It’s just one of those things. 

Q. Would you tell us about the conditions out there today, and how much do you feel the softness of the greens contributed to the low scoring? 

PAUL CASEY:  It did.  It’s not just the softness of the greens, it’s the little bit of    some guys have mentioned it, there’s a little bit of bermuda still in there.  So the bermuda has a twofold effect.  One, the greens are very receptive coming in, and there was a shot I hit on No. 2, a 6 iron to that left hand pin that you can’t hit that shot in April.  It was just left of the flag.  It pitched and stopped instantly, and that shot in April would have one hopped over into the Patrons, and probably would have walked off with a 5 instead of a 3. 

So it’s that receptiveness and you can be aggressive with the approach shots, and obviously the putts are not as quick as well.  So there are certain    I hit a couple of shots today, one on 14, I didn’t capitalize on the good shot in, but again that would have released down and finished in the middle of the green instead of staying next to the left hand pin.  

Yeah, receptiveness and speed, but it’s not just the rain.  It’s the bermuda, but that also changes    I haven’t quite figured it out yet; do we have to read a bit more grain than normal?  It’s just different.  Just a different challenge.  It’s still very much the Masters and Augusta National, but just a little different.  

So the guys that know, the guys that don’t know, this is going to be great.  The guys whose first Masters, Jason Kokrak and everyone else, and they will be back, hopefully back in April, they are going to have a rude awakening for how    this golf course is still very, very difficult, but April is just a different difficult and it could be quite funny. 

Q. Did it feel longer out there today? 

PAUL CASEY:  Certain holes, I think I got lucky with the wind.  Certain holes like 8, they kicked up straight into us and made 8 play very long.  Some other holes, like 2, it was downwind.  2 played short.  10 was short.  11 was short, which was nice, because if it turns around on 11 it’s a beast.  It wasn’t too bad.  I think that was just luck of the draw with the wind.  

Q. Have you ever played a round here where you had balls that plugged in greens, and then it seemed as the day wore on, they stopped plugging and started spinning back.  Is it going to be harder from now on in the afternoon than it was maybe when you all went through that stretch? 

PAUL CASEY:  I’m not sure.  To answer your first part, I’m not sure I’ve played a round where I’ve seen balls make such an impression.  Yeah, I don’t think I have.  And that’s amazing amount of    again, grass types and all the rest of it, it just feels very humid out here.  It’s the humidity, ignoring the rain we’ve had fall, there’s just a humidity to this time of year I’ve never experienced because I’ve never been here at this time of year, sticky like it is at East Lake in September or something like that.  

Yeah, it’s a good point you raised.  I saw Tony Finau in our group on the first land the ball 10, 12 feet short of the flag on the first, which is a pretty decent way, I don’t know what the pin is today on the first, it’s 15 or 18 on on the left, and he spun it back into the bunker on a good looking wedge shot.  It poses a very different challenge from what we are used to. 

Yes, maybe that change in condition is going to be difficult for the guys this afternoon.  For me the biggest thing is the greens are just going to have    they are just going to grow a little bit so the speed is not going to be there.  They are perfect, when they are mowed in the morning, they are absolutely perfect.  They are just going to get a little more chewed up in the afternoons. 

Q. Would you walk us through your thinking in how you played 13 and 15.  

PAUL CASEY:  13 for me, I played sort of straight down the hole, so to speak.  There’s a couple of tree trunks that I aim and I try to not run out on the fairway, which I did today.  So for me it’s a 3 wood.  I don’t know the yardage.  

I hit a very good tee shot today, and it unfortunately was just a yard through the fairway into the first cut and leave myself    if I hit a good tee shot, it will be 200 and change to the front, typically, which is exactly what I had today.  Left myself a 5 iron today out of that first cut and hit a glorious shot to 15 feet and 2 putted.  

But that’s the way I will play it all week, unless the wind changes, in which case the club will change, but the style, the way of playing the hole remains the same.  

Sorry, what was the second part of the question?  13?  

Q. 13 and 15.  

PAUL CASEY:  15 to me is bombs away.  I smash it.  I have a small little tree picked out in the distance which is probably all the way up on the 5th somewhere, but that’s where I’m looking because I can see the grouping of trees on the left, so I know where to position it and just don’t go too far left.  

I hit a perfect drive today.  Left myself 210 or something like that, 205, 210.  Maybe a bit more.  I hit a 6 iron to seven feet and missed it comfortably.  That’s the way, again, I’ll play it all week.  

For me, it’s funny, 13 is conservative off the tee and aggressive with a second shot, and 15 is aggressive off the tee and then kind of conservative with the second shot, so they are kind of flipped.  If I mess up the tee shot on 15, I still have an opportunity for birdie to knock it down and wedge it in and I’ll always knock it down there and wedge it in.  And I’ll always knock it down the left side if I have to lay it up so I have got more pitch of the green to hold the ball.  

But that’s the way, yeah, conservative off the tee on 13, and aggressive off the tee on 15.  

THE MODERATOR:  Thank you very much.  We appreciate your time and best of luck the rest of the tournament.