No Tigers means open season at the Masters - WRBL

No Tigers means open season at the Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. - So far this week, the most popular golfer has been one who isn't at the Masters. Tiger Woods is missing his first Masters since 1994.

The next time Tiger wins the Masters, it will have been at least a decade since the last time he donned the green jacket.

Tiger, I mean, Tiger's been around for so long. I think he's 38 now. He's an old man now," said Jason Day.

Woods underwent a microdiscectomy last week, a procedure to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back, and a condition that had clearly hampered him for months.

“He's Tiger Woods. You expect him to play well, and he's getting older now, and the body just doesn't react the same as it did when he was 21,"said Day.

So, with no Tiger in Augusta, the field is as even as it has been in years. With Monday’s rain washing away any significant practice rounds, preparation will be shorter and, come Thursday, there may not be a clear favorite.

“Just like any other year, I think it's wide open. There are so many good players here that if you can get it going, it's anybody's tournament to win, I think," said Steve Stricker.

Even though Tiger hasn't won the Masters since 2005, his presence at Augusta national--and any course he steps on--just seems to add a little something.

“The absence of him not being here is tough on the tournament. Anytime he's in the tournament, he draws so much more attention," Stricker said.

“We need him back,” Stricker continued. “For sure we need him back and playing golf and being healthy, and I think that's the biggest thing is to get him back healthy."

Many people are pointing to Day, the fourth-ranked player in the world, to step up and claim his first Masters title. He finished tied second back in 2011, when South African Charl Schwartzel won it.

 If Day can put on the green jacket, it would be back-to-back Australians, after Adam Scott won a year ago. 

Jonathan Huskey

Jonathan comes to News 3 from Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Ark., where he anchored weekends and reported during the week on some of the best high school sports in the state. More>>

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