AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods wasn’t expected here at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, but perhaps a Monday weather forecast calling for thunderstorms caused him to change his mind.
He couldn’t have picked a more pleasant afternoon. The sun was out but it wasn’t too hot, and there was hardly a soul around to spoil the view at golf’s most picturesque venue. With patrons allowed to take in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, but not walk on the golf course, the place was quiet.
Woods began his on-site preparation for the 83rd Masters with nothing more than a wedge and a putter in his hands. He arrived at the club around 4:20 p.m. EDT, stroked a few putts, and then grabbed his wedge and made his way past the tee box and down the first fairway.
The four-time Masters champion will be making his 22nd start this week and second in a row after missing the 2016 and ’17 editions because of a back injury. His T-32 finish last year was just his second outside the top 25 since he won the 1997 Masters in his first start as a professional. The last of his four wins came in 2005.
Woods made a visit to Augusta on Wednesday. Asked if he liked the changes at the par-4 fifth hole, which has been lengthened to 495 yards, he responded, “loved it.”