AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Groupings and starting times have been released for the first two rounds of the 87th Masters Tournament.
Tuesday at Augusta National Golf Club also features the continuation of a number of Masters traditions.
Participants continue to have the opportunity to continue preparations by playing a practice round. One of the feature groups was five-time champion Tiger Woods, 1992 champion Fred Couples and two-time winner of the PGA Championship Justin Thomas, making his eighth Masters appearance.
After his round, Woods held his annual news conference at Augusta National, during which he updated his physical status.
“Mobility, it’s not where I would like it, but it’s — as I sit here, I’ve said to you guys before, I’m very lucky to have this leg; it’s mine,” he said. “Yes, it had been altered and there’s some hardware in there, but it’s still mine. It has been tough and will always be tough. The ability and endurance of what my leg will do going forward will never be the same. I understand that. That’s why I can’t prepare and play as many tournaments as I like, but that’s my future, and that’s okay. I’m okay with that.”
Woods said the lingering effects of the injuries sustained in the car crash in February of 2021 mean his days as a Masters participant are numbered.
“I don’t know how many more I have in me,” Woods said. “So just to be able to appreciate the time that I have here and cherish the memories. But still, to just look at the golf course, it looks like it’s been here for over a hundred years and hasn’t changed, and each and every year we come here, everything has changed since I first played here.”
“The joy, it’s different,” he continued. “I’m not able to compete and play as many tournaments or do the things I’ve been able to do over the years. But to be able to still share this game and share some memories and create new memories with my son and also pass on some of the things that I’ve learned — I’ve learned a lot of things in this game, so to pass that on to him and others has been fantastic.”
Three-time champion Phil Mickelson played the second nine Tuesday after missing the 2022 Tournament and subsequently leaving the PGA Tour for LIV Golf.
“It would be nice to validate the amount of talent that is over there on LIV, and I think a lot of guys are playing really well heading in,” Mickelson said of the possibility of a member of LIV Golf winning. “So I think it will be fun to watch.”
Defending champion Scottie Scheffler also visited the Interview Room on Tuesday, and addressed the daunting task of winning back-to-back Masters Tournaments, a feat only accomplished three times in the previous 86 times the event has been played.
“It’s the Masters and it is what it is, and it’s such a special tournament that I think we build it up so much in our heads,” Scheffler said. “When I show up this week, there’s just more going on. That’s really just all there is to it.”
“As far as my preparation goes, I’ve kept things pretty similar to what they were last year, outside of getting here a few hours earlier on Sunday so I could play more golf. When the tournament starts on Thursday, everybody starts even par. Just because you’re defending doesn’t mean I get to start at 1-under. I’ll be approaching it just like I do a lot of other tournaments.”
Tuesday evening, one of the most revered traditions at the Masters Tournament continued as the Champions Dinner was served in honor of Scottie Scheffler. Scheffler served a menu that included cheeseburger sliders (served “Scottie Style), shrimp, ribeye steak and blackened redfish among other options.
The dinner was the first since six Masters champions left the PGA Tour to join rival LIV Golf.
“I’ve made comments, but (LIV golfers) need to understand if they’ve looked at anything I’ve ever said, I call myself the same stuff I’m calling them, I just don’t think they should bash the PGA TOUR or anybody, just go play golf,” 1992 champion Fred Couples said on Monday. “(Tuesday) night will be a great dinner, will be a lot of fun
This story will be updated throughout the day.