For Tiger Woods – Andy North, finishing 24th would be a victory

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 that he only enters events when he believes he can get “the W”, regardless of the condition of his game or his body, and writing off the 15-time major winner has always been the case a dangerous game.

Still, there’s no denying the fact that the 48-year-old has played fewer than five and a half rounds of competition since undergoing ankle surgery in April last year after withdrawing from the Masters in the third round.

After Woods scored a record 23rd straight win at Augusta National last year, his most realistic goal seems to be to distance 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 at the weekend would be a win.

“He’ll tell you he’s there because he believes he can win the tournament, but to be realistic: what he’s been through is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

“What he has to do to prepare to go out there every day and try to play golf is very, very difficult.

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

“We saw him in LA (at the Genesis Invitational) and I thought he looked a lot better from that vantage point walking around. Then he turned his back on him. We haven’t seen him since.

“They say he played golf and practiced. He did what he had to do, but we really don’t know. Is his back okay?

“Since the (car) accident, we’ve talked so much about his leg and the difficulty walking and all these other things, but we really don’t know.

“For me it’s always interesting to see what we see from him. What he has given us over the last 25 years is simply unmatched. It was a great pleasure to be able to watch him.

I think playing on the weekend would be a win

Andy North on Tiger Woods

“If he said this was the last time he played, then we’ve seen so much greatness in him, that would be good for him if he wants to go away.

“I mean, he doesn’t have to do this for anyone but himself, and I think he still wants to prove that he can do it.

“Would we like to see him come here and hit a lot of good shots on Thursday, be below average and be in the mix? Of course we would do that.

“Again, if he shoots 68 or 78 on the first day, it wouldn’t surprise you that something could potentially happen.”

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