The Citizen (KZN)

Tiger, please stop torture

- POINT with Jacques van der Westhuyzen

The reactions of golf fans regarding the performanc­e of Tiger Woods at the Masters this last week have been interestin­g.

The die-hard supporters couldn’t stop cheering for, and applauding, the five-time champion of Augusta, while neutrals said it was time for the multiple Major winner to now give up the game.

Woods finished 60th – and in last place among those who made the halfway cut – with a score of 16-over-par, his worst showing at the Masters, including his two outings there as an amateur.

And though he became the sole record holder for consecutiv­e cuts made in a Major – 24 – his 82 on Saturday, followed by 77 on Sunday (after earlier rounds of 73 and 72) proved it’s going to take something of a miracle for Woods to be competitiv­e again at any level of the game, including on the over-50 Champions Tour in future.

His injuries from a car crash and other setbacks from niggles playing golf have left Woods struggling to walk courses for four days, though he did well to go the distance at Augusta – but at what cost?

Woods remains fiercely competitiv­e and optimistic – he has already said he is going to tee it up at the next three Majors in the next three months at Pinehurst (PGA Championsh­ip), Valhalla (US Open) and Troon (The Open) – but one wonders why he is putting himself through so much torture?

Does he really believe he can win another Major – he must do – or is it to keep the fans happy? Because let’s be honest, he’s still one of the biggest draws in the game, as was seen at Augusta at the weekend?

There were flashes of the old, brilliant Woods this last week in Georgia, but there were more moments when one felt sorry for him.

He looked to be in constant pain as he walked up and down the fairways of the magnificen­t Augusta National… a shadow of his former self.

The 48-year-old has proved doubters wrong before and maybe he’ll do so again, but right now it’s hard to watch the great golfer struggle.

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