April 5, 2024

Ex Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has revealed he’s surprised and disappointed that Tiger Woods hasn’t played more golf in the lead-up to The Masters.


Speaking exclusively to GolfMagic, McGinley discussed Woods’ chances at The Masters and revealed that due to his lack of playing time, the 15-time major champion’s expectations shouldn’t be high.


Woods returned to PGA Tour action earlier this year at the Genesis Invitational.


Despite shooting a respectable one-over 73 in his first round, he sadly had to withdraw from the competition midway through round two after suffering from flu-like symptoms and dehydration.


The dramatic departure even saw an ambulance called to Riviera Country Club to treat Woods.

Since then, the five-time Masters champion has pulled out of several tournaments and not played a competitive round of golf.


Sitting down to chat with McGinley, we quizzed him on what we could expect from Woods at Augusta National.


He said:


“They (his expectations) can’t be high. I’m surprised and disappointed that he hasn’t played since Genesis because the reason for pulling out of the tournament was the flu. From what we know, it wasn’t his injury, so I thought he might have got another tournament in between Genesis and now, but he hasn’t chosen to do that, which is a little bit surprising.”


Woods played in The Masters in 2023 but was forced to withdraw seven holes into his third round due to aggravating a previous injury.


Since then, he has undergone additional ankle surgery and declared himself pain-free before the Genesis Invitational earlier this year.


Despite Woods’ statement, McGinley believes the undulating terrain at Augusta National could still cause him issues.


He added:


“You know the hilliness and the side hill lies the physical challenges that he’s going to have around Augusta are going to be very tough on him, on top of the fact that you know he hasn’t played any golf for quite a while, really. So I think the expectations can’t be high for that reason.”


Remarkably, considering his lack of playing time and a long list of previous injuries, bookmakers still have Woods at 90/1, level with Rickie Fowler and more of a favourite than a number of former Masters champions, including Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson.


While the chances of Woods slipping on a sixth green jacket look thin, if the golfing world has learnt anything in recent years, it should be that you never count him out.


With only a week to go until the opening round of the Masters, updates on Woods’ health have been few and far between; however, it was recently reported that he has banned himself from having sex in order to conserve energy and maintain focus, according to the New York Post.

The Masters will be available on Sky Sports Golf and via a NOW subscription from 11th – 14th April, and you can follow all the latest news on Sky Sports social and digital channels throughout the week.

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