Tiger Woods may have not won a major since the US Open in 2008, nor may he have played competitively for two months, nor may he be in the world’s top 100 any longer, but that didn’t stop the 39-year-old drawing in a massive crowd as he took to Augusta for the first official practice day ahead of this week’s tournament.
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Before the players descended upon the historic course, much of the talk had been centred around whether the fourteen-time major champion would play in Georgia, after a debilitating back injury forced his withdrawal from his last competition. And despite confirming last week that he would play in the hope of clinching his fifth green jacket, it was not until 3.30pm on Monday that fans finally got what they wanted – Woods walking out onto the course, sizing up the challenge he faces later this week.
According to the Daily Mail, the American received an incredible ovation from his adoring public – that still place him on a pedestal despite the well-publicised collapse of his personal life – when he emerged on the chipping range. It is unimaginable the reception he will receive if he walks down the eighteenth on Sunday protecting a sizeable lead.
His successor, Rory McIlroy may be the current world number one, and on the verge of a career grand slam, but judging by the support Woods received, it would appear that Tiger is still king of the jungle.