Tiger Woods has ignited a fire of excitement in the golfing world and was once again the main topic of conversation at Augusta National as he confirmed his long-awaited return to action at The Masters. As a five-time champion, Woods’ return has been welcomed by other pro golfers.
Rory McIlroy stated: "Tiger has been wonderful for us all in this room. He creates attention on the game of golf that no one else can. That's great for his peers. It's great for the media. It's great for this golf club. It's great for everyone.
So, any time Tiger Woods is involved, it's a wonderful thing”. McIlroy feels Woods’ return to The Masters has made preparation for others easier as there is less attention on them. He also briefly discussed his chase for the Grand Slam.
"I think in terms of the competitive nature of it, if he's in the field or not, I don't think it really changes much. You're trying to focus on yourself, and he can't stop you shooting a 67 if you play well. It's not like any other sport.
So, I don't think that changes much. "I've spent a little bit of time with him at home, and the golf is there. He's hitting it well. He's chipping well. He's sharp. It's just the physical demand of getting around 72 holes here this week.
That's probably the question mark. But the golf game is there." Justin Thomas said "Nobody has a work ethic and determination like him. I've never seen anything like it in terms of setting your mind to something and kind of setting a goal for yourself and proving to yourself and everybody that you can do it than him.
"The days and weeks and months that he couldn't do anything and do the same thing every single day but would look at it as an opportunity to get better and get stronger and get one per cent better that day. Justin Thomas also feels Woods’ advice about his career, has been invaluable.
"Unfortunately, he's been through it a lot, not that specific type of injury or whatnot, but he's been through that type of process before. He unfortunately knows better than others, but it's still unbelievable the stuff that he can do given everything." Jordan Spieth stated: "I think him playing and playing with being healthy and playing and potentially playing well is just in general, no matter where it is, just so good for the game of golf and all of us.
Obviously, no stage is brighter than it is this week. Jon Rahm said "There's a lot more electricity in the air, and you have Tiger being there. Monday felt like a Saturday in a regular event. "[Tiger's presence] could help Rory (McIlroy).
I know this week can be tough because every time he comes up here he's going to hear about the Grand Slam, and maybe having Tiger out here might help”. "The one thing we all know for sure is in three days out here Tiger's going to win the PIP (Player Impact Program) for sure in three days of golf.
So I think that's the biggest impact for all of us. We're all playing for No 2 now. That's it." Dustin Johnson agreed: "He's one of greatest that's ever played this game and especially in our era, so any time he tees it up, especially after his injuries, he's going to take a lot of attention, which is okay with me.
I always like sliding in a little under the radar. "I'm really thrilled that he's back and he's playing and he's walking, for sure, because obviously at one point didn't know if that was even possible. I think it means a lot for him to be here, and hopefully, he'll get to tee it up on Thursday." Scottie Scheffler: "I would say Tiger takes a lot of attention away from all of us, which I think is a good thing for us.
He's used to being in the spotlight. Tiger is the needle for professional golf. We're all excited and hoping he's going to be able to play this week. I think he said it was maybe still a little bit of a decision he has to make, but it seems like he's for sure going to play.
So that's exciting for us, and we're glad to see him back. "He's done so much for professional golf. The Tour looks a lot different than it did in 1996 before he came out, so we're all very grateful and we're hopeful to have him back."