Making record 24th cut would be a win for Tiger Woods – Andy North

Tiger Woods will inevitably say he is there to win the Masters when he gives his pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday.

Woods has always insisted he only enters events if he thinks he can “get the W”, no matter the state of his game or his body, and writing off the 15-time major winner has always been a dangerous game.

Yet there is no escaping the fact that the 48-year-old has played fewer than five and a half competitive rounds since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year after withdrawing from the Masters during the third round.

Having made a record-equalling 23rd consecutive cut at Augusta National last year, Woods’ most realistic target appears to be separating himself from Fred Couples and Gary Player in the record books by extending that streak to 24.

Two-time US Open winner and ESPN analyst Andy North said: “I think playing on the weekend would be a win.

“He’s going to tell you that he’s there because he thinks he can win the tournament but to be realistic, what he’s gone through you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

“What he has to do to get ready to go out and try to play golf every single day is very, very difficult.

“Just to get him there and get around for the week and play some good golf and hit some nice shots, I think that would be awesome.

Tiger Woods checks the wind on the 14th hole during day one of The Open at St Andrews
Tiger Woods will be back at Augusta this week (Jane Barlow/PA)

“There’s talk he’s been playing some golf, he’s been practising. He’s been doing what he needs to do, but we really don’t know. Is his back okay?

“We’ve talked so much since the (car) accident about his leg and how hard it is to walk and all these other things, but we really don’t know.

“To me, it’s always interesting to see what we see out of him. What he’s given us over the last 25 years has been just second to none. It’s been such a joy to be able to watch him.

“I mean, he doesn’t have to do this for anybody else other than himself, and I think he still wants to prove that he can do it.

“Would we love to see him come in here and hit a lot of good shots on Thursday and be under par and be in the mix of it? Of course we would.

“Again, if he shoots 68 or 78 the first day, you wouldn’t be surprised that anything could possibly happen.”

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