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Tiger lives up to the hype halfway into the 2022 Masters



Halfway through the 2022 Masters, Tiger Woods (Bridgestone Tour B XS) is the story.

The 48-year-old legend has more than proven he could handle the long layoff from competition since he suffered multiple injuries – notably a shattered right leg – in a single-car accident more than 400 days heading into the tournament at Augusta National.

I wrote earlier in the week that if he made the cut it would be a noteworthy achievement.

And he did – easily – finishing at one-over par after shooting two-over par on the round. The cutline was four-over and many quality players didn’t qualify for the weekend.


But the 46-year-old battled Mother Nature, which threw an expected element in the second round with a wind that whipped up in the morning and became a huge factor for the players teeing off in the afternoon. The group included Woods, who shot one-under par in the opening round and gave back two strokes on Friday.

So what Tiger did can best be described as a moment in sports history, or the latest moment in his sports history because he was limping noticeably on the back nine.

Golf historians, and I am not one of them, like to reference this in comparison to Ben Hogan, who suffered multiple injuries in February, 1949 when a Greyhound bus collided with the car he was driving and which included his wife, Valerie, in the passenger seat. He was the top player in the world at the time.

He badly damaged his left leg, as well as suffering a cracked rib and a double fracture of his pelvis. By all accounts he was lucky to have survived.

Similar to Woods, there was uncertainty as to whether he’d lose his leg.

A month into his hospital stay, Hogan developed blood clots from his injured leg that travelled into one of his lungs. He survived that and ended up spending 59 days in hospital.

He returned to play later in the year and won the U.S. Open a few months later.

He won the Masters a year later. Two years later, he won again.

And I only know this from what I’ve read.

Woods is writing his own amazing story that historians will recall for the next generation of golf fans.

Woods is tied with Sam Snead for most PGA Tour wins with 82.

To suggest the golfing gods have scripted these two stories would not be out of the realm of reality.

“I think one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport is the gentleman who won here, Mr. Hogan,” Woods said before the tournament when asked if winning the Masters would be the greatest sporting comeback of all time. “That’s one of the greatest comebacks there is, and it happens to be in our sport.”

The fact he survived the cut is, in my mind, an accomplishment. Notwithstanding the long layoff and lack of serious competition, Woods is battling the young guns on the PGA Tour. Similar to when he began on the PGA Tour and dominated it in his 20s, this is what is happening now. Charl Schwartzel (Clear Golf Tour Green), who won the Masters in 2011, is turning back the clock this year at age 38 with a score of three-under par after 36 holes. Shane Lowry (Srixon Z-Star XV), 35, is also in contention at three-under, though he has had a good season and has a pedigree as a majors winner.

For the most part, the key players at the halfway point are 30 years of age or under.

Scottie Scheffler (Titleist Pro V1) has shown the same steady play in the Masters as he has this whole season, which vaulted him to the world’s to-ranked player going into the Masters. The 25-year-old came into the Masters with three wins in his last five starts, but for whatever reason people didn’t believe in his talent. Maybe it’s because he lacks swagger.

But swagger is largely overrated when you can make all kinds of shots without trying to revolutionize the game.

And he heads into the weekend with a five-shot lead, which ties the Masters record.

Very impressive.

CINKING A HOLE IN ONE: How cool was it seeing 48-year-old Stewart Cink (Titleist Pro V1x) recording an ace on the 16th hole? What he’s done the last couple years winning tournaments with his son, Connor, on the bag has been a great story. Cink recorded the hole in one on the same day his other, Reagan, was born 23 years ago. Cink didn’t make the cut but what a day nonetheless.

HUDSON’S BROKEN CLUB: Hudson Swafford (Titleist Pro V1) lost the club head of his iron playing a shot on the 13th hole. He ended up making par because the ball travelled a far distance and easily made the cut.

Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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