Tiger Woods to put his neck on the line for Masters bid

Getty Images

Getty Images

Dustin Johnson is among those who look forward to the move to March, even though he has only played this event in May. Furthermore, the world's Nos. - The Players Championship teed off on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass.

The change that appears to have caused most ire has been one that does not allow caddies to stand behind a player and help line up a shot. Thomas has similarly threatened on four occasions while Johnson hasn't had quite the same struggle. Assuming this week goes well and he goes to Texas for the Match Play, that would give him five tournaments before the Masters.

On the other end of the spectrum are several marquee names with red flags surrounding them, past champions included. "I understand that I'm going to have good weeks and bad weeks", Woods continued.

"It is not painful now", said Woods, who will play Thursday's opening round with defending champion Webb Simpson and Masters victor Patrick Reed.

Francesco Molinari, fresh off his win at Bay Hill on Sunday, said he drove north from Orlando with his caddie after the Arnold Palmer Invitational and had pizza to celebrate. Tiger stripes a 3-wood off the tee and finds the center of the fairway.

THE PLAYERS Championship is contested in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Woods declared himself good to go after a neck strain kept him out of last week's event, and his presence just enhances this already-loaded field and star-studded leaderboard. "I can't devote the hours I used to on every facet of my game. He'll just try to make what he's done the best in the past and make that what he's doing".

How is body feels this week rather than how he putts, though, will determine whether or not Woods will play in both the Valspar Championship and WGC-Match Play before trying to win a fifth Masters in a month's time. That's helped him hit 71.2 percent of greens in regulation, ascend to No. 8 in the FedEx Cup rankings, and bank $2.59 million in winnings, the fourth-most on Tour this season. However, his record at this event is subpar by his standards. He missed the cut in Los Angeles three weeks earlier and needed to add a tournament.

Fellow Abbotsford, B.C., native Nick Taylor has similarly struggled at The Players. The young Canadian from Listowel, Ont., is making his debut at this pseudo-major and has the game suited to succeed at TPC Sawgrass.

Tiger was talking to his ball that came up short of the pin, just sitting on a slope that could have carried his shot down to the front of the green. Merritt, B.C.'s Roger Sloan is now the second alternate.

Woods, 43, showed up at Innisbrook last March for the first time since 1996 and put on a show. "That was part of the design from Pete Dye".

Golf Digest interviewed nearly 50 players, caddies, course architects and commentators to learn the nuances of what makes 137 yards on the scorecard such torture for even the best in the game.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.