Masters Blog | Return of the Tiger

After having three years out, Tiger finally teed up at Augusta National last year - where he finished tied 32. Over the years Tiger has enjoyed significant success since making his debut as a amateur in 1995, including 13 top 10 finishes and of course 4 wins. Today we ask our pro's where they believe Tiger will finish in this years masters. But first, we take a look at the history of Tigers performance at the tournament.

As an amateur

As the US Amateur champion, Woods plays his first Masters as an amateur in 1995 and finishes in a tie for 41st. His 5-over-par is enough to be the only amateur to make the cut and earn the honours of being the low-amateur. Despite being well touted to do well the following year, he shot 75-75 and failed to make the cut.

As a professional

In his first Masters as a professional, the 21-one-year-old rewrites the history books by shooting a record 18-under-par to finish some 12 shots clear of second, breaking more than several records in the process.

Returning as defending champion in 1998, Woods fails to break 70 with a three-under-par for the week, leaving him in a tie for 8th. His friend, Mark O’Meara wins with a score of nine-under-par.

Jose Maria Olazabal wins in 1999 with the former world number one sitting nine shots back at one-over-par.

The year 2000 belongs to Woods. He wins three Majors, but a second Green Jacket escapes him. He finishes 5th with a four-under-par.

Woods breaks more records as he becomes the first player to hold all four Majors at the same time, winning his fourth consecutive Major at the 2001 Masters. The American makes an 18-footer for birdie on the final hole to finish 16-under, his playing partner on Sunday, Phil Mickelson finishes three shots back.

The great defender

There were only two players to have ever successfully defended a Masters title – Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo. In 2002, Woods makes it three. He sees off the US Open champion Retief Goosen by three shots, carding 12-under-par.

A fourth Green Jacket looks to be out of reach for Woods in 2005 after a poor opening round leaves him seven shots off the lead. He makes 16 birdies across the next two rounds to throw his name back into contention. It’s the year of the famous chip on 16, but Chris DiMarco nearly wins with a lipped out chip on the final hole as Woods finishes bogey-bogey. The world number one holds his nerve to win the play-off hole.

The one that hurt the most

Three successive top three finishes follow between 2006 and 2008.

A defeat to Phil Mickelson in 2006 is described as the ‘defeat that hurt the most of any tournament’. 2007 marks the first time Woods fails to break par in any of his four rounds at Augusta but it was good enough to finish as runner-up to Zach Johnson. Woods begins six shots behind eventual winner Trevor Immelman in 2008, he gains three shots on the South African but it isn’t enough.

He’s paired with rival Mickelson in the final round again in 2009 but neither came away with the Green Jacket. An 8-under-par for Woods puts him four shots off the play-off, in which Angel Cabrera comes out on top.

Back-to-back ties for fourth follow in 2010 and 2011. The former year would be his return to golf following a well-documented personal scandal. It doesn’t affect him as he finishes 11-under-par across his four rounds, but his nemesis and winner that year Mickelson finishes five shots ahead.

In 2011 Woods begins Sunday seven shots off leader Rory McIlroy, but knocks that down to just one heading into the turn. His back nine ends in even par as he finishes four shots off the victor Charl Schwartzel.

Heading into the 2012 Masters, Woods has won his first PGA Tour title since 2009 but this form didn’t continue into the year’s first Major. He posts his worst ever finish at Augusta during his professional career, and only his second over par score. A five-over-par sees the former world number one finish 15 shots back of champion Bubba Watson in T40.

The infamous drop

We get glimpses of the old Woods in the 2013 edition of the Masters. The tournament is known for his infamous drop on the 15th during the second round. He’s penalised two shots but still finishes in a tie for fourth, four shots off eventual winner Adam Scott.

Woods misses his first ever Masters as a professional in 2014 after undergoing microdiscectomy surgery in his back. He returns in 2015 and posts five-under-par to finish T17th.

Where will Woods finish this year?

So, finally we ask our pro's where they think Woods will finish this year.

Matt, I think Tiger will finish top 10 maximum. Whilst last seasons form hasn't been quite replicated yet, his recent Top 5 finish at the DELL Technologies match play should lead him nicely into this first major.

Reeves: I think he will finish top 5. He clearly likes this course and knows what it takes to get into the top few. With nine top 5 finishes in his past, he should be more than capable.

What do you think?

Let us know where you think Tiger will finish this year by commenting below or via our comments on Facebook.

FairWeather Golf is the home of the RoboGolfPro having introduced the first Robot to the UK in 2016. Since then we have opened facilities in Ascot, Berkshire and London, Greenwich.

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