Tiger Woods made his return to golf on the biggest of all stages, a “tradition unlike any other,” the 2010 Masters Tournament for the coveted green jacket in Augusta, GA. Woods has won the Masters four times previously, including his very first Masters back in 1996 when he won by a record 18 under par, a record margin of 12 strokes, when he was the youngest player to win and the first African-American to do so.
So Tiger Woods at the Masters is kind of a big deal. But how is he doing in his return to professional golf following his huge personal scandal?
]]>Verdict: He’s doing pretty well.
Golf-wise, Tiger is right in the hunt. In his first three rounds, Tiger has shot a 68, 70 and 70 to end up at 8 under par, which is good for a tie for third place. He trails second-place Phil Mickelson by three shots and the leader Lee Westwood by four. Tiger did have an unusually high five bogeys in his third round (after only making four bogeys in the previous two rounds combined), but he finished the round strong with a birdie on 18.
Fan-wise? Well, there have been the planes flying overhead with messages about “bootyism” and being a “sex addict.” But as far as the Masters’ spectators go, the galleries have mostly been cheering him on. The ones who don’t want to cheer just stand there quietly. And that’s the way it should be. Not only does his personal life have really nothing to do with his golf, but it would be incredibly rude to the other players (particularly Woods’ pairing partner K.J. Choi) to be booing or heckling.
After he finished his third round, Woods told CBS’ Bill Macatee, “My warm-up wasn’t very good, I was struggling there. I really struggled with the pace of the greens, fighting the swing. It was a tough day … I just wanted to put myself in contention and I did that. As of right now, I’m only four back. A good round tomorrow you never know … Overall, I feel pretty good out there.”
Tomorrow should be quite the showdown between leader Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, K.J. Choi and Freddy Couples. The latter four golfers are all within 5 shots of the lead. The only question we have is will Tiger wear his traditional black pants and red shirt on the final day? Or will this new Tiger have a new final-round outfit?
The final round of the 2010 Masters airs Sunday, April 11 on CBS at 2 p.m. ET.
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Bootyism banner rains on Tigers’ Masters parade Photo credits: Getty Images