Well well well. Say what you will about whatever happened on Sunday on 12 but the fact of the matter is Tiger looked as free and loose all week as he has in some time. Completely comfortable and well in control of his golf ball, especially off the tee. He was bombing it high, cutting it low, and rarely put himself in big trouble besides the one obvious isolated incident. Take the disaster on 12 out of the equation and he's inside the Top 20 around names like Schauffele, Cantlay, and Matsuyama. There was always the hope that he could conjure up some magic and actually contend in this year's Masters, but the fact of the matter is that it just wasn't realistic for a guy who had only played 4 tournament rounds in 8 weeks leading up to it. Especially in a year where Augusta National played incredibly benign and his course knowledge wasn't as advantageous over the mere mortals playing it.
At this point, consistent health over 4 rounds is obviously a positive for Tiger. Where it becomes a problem for everybody else is when he doesn't feel like he's been in a train wreck afterwards. The hold-up on him playing often and playing well consistently in 2020 was an inability to practice anywhere near as much or with the type of intensity that made him the greatest to ever do it. Obviously at age 44 that was always going to be scaled back, but if he's able to carry over the feels from playing 72 holes of tournament golf and re-enforce those good feels and build on them? Hello world.
He'll take his time off over these next couple months and get some rest and get ready for 2021. But there was a growing sense going into the 2020 Masters that his back may have been deteriorating again and I think those concerns have been put to rest. We'll probably see him at the Farmers at Torrey Pines to start the year (as is tradition) and the road to the 2021 Masters commences. Good times are coming. Can't wait.