Tuesday From The Masters: Tiger Makes It Official
Groupings announced and evaluated. Plus, quotes galore, player insights into the course changes (with photos!) and more.
Tiger Woods made it official. Groupings were announced. Players opined on the course changes and they still skipped some shots at 16 before weather shut down Augusta National. Then the heavy stuff came down. But there’s some consolation for patrons: a chance to buy tickets for 2023’s Tuesday session. All of that and more so let’s get to it.
Tiger Woods expects to play the 2022 Masters. While it’s been obvious for days, this makes for another incredible rebound in his oeuvre of comebacks. I’d call this press conference, hosted by Rob Johnston, a warmer-than-most session minus only a question about Tiger’s Par 3 Contest availability. Oh, and one his old sparring partner Phil.
“It's been a tough, tough year and a lot of stuff that I had to deal with that I don't wish on anyone, but here we are, Masters week. Being able to play and practice -- for me, more importantly, just to say thank you to all the guys that have texted me, FaceTimed me, and called me and given me all their support, to see them in person and to say thank you has meant a lot.”
“I'm going to play nine more holes tomorrow. My recovery has been good. I've been very excited about how I've recovered each and every day, and that's been the challenge. That's why I came up here and tested it out for 27 holes because we play the par-3 course. Charlie couldn't help himself. I was able to play 27 holes that day and at home testing it.”
“When I decide to hang it up when I feel like I can't win anymore, then that will be it. But I feel like I can still do it, and I feel like I still have the hands to do it, the body's moving good enough. I've been in worse situations and played and won tournaments. Now, I haven't been in situations like this where I've had to walk and endure what I'm going to try and endure, that's going to be different.”
2022 Groupings Announced
Note on the official “groupings” that tee time intervals are spaced every 11 minutes, down one from 12 minutes in 2021. The committee has also again placed 22-minute gaps between the 9:17 a.m./9:39 a.m., 10:56 a.m./11:18 a.m. and 12:35/12:57 p.m. ET times.
Groups with an 🌸 next to them were announced as Featured Groups, meaning 18-hole U.S. coverage on Masters.com, ESPN+ and Paramount+, CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App. Here is the Quadrilateral’s highly scientific ranking of 2022’s groupings:
10. Bryson DeChambeau, Cameron Smith, Paul Casey (10:23 a.m. ET Thursday). Plenty of personality in this one!
9. Fred Couples, Garrick Higgo, Guido Migliozzi (8:33 a.m. ET Thursday) Couples has 132 Masters rounds to zero for his playing partners.
8. Bubba Watson, Tom Hoge, Keita Nakajima (A) (12:35 pm ET Thursday) The world’s top amateur gets to experience Bubba and one of the PGA Tour’s hottest golfers.
🌸 7.Adam Scott, Scottie Scheffler, Tony Finau (10:56 am ET Thursday). A solid grouping that should serve all three well.
🌸 6. Dustin Johnson, Billy Horschel, Collin Morikawa (1:30 p.m. ET Thursday) Maybe Billy will be on better behavior than last year’s Masters weekend Featured coverage. Also a reminder that this never grows tiresome.
5.Matt Fitzpatrick, Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy (2:03 p.m. ET Thursday): Two four-time major winners and a 7-time winner on the DP World Tour. We know who will be hitting first from most fairways.
4. Will Zalatoris, Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm (1:41 p.m. ET Thursday): Last year's Masters runner-up Zalatoris get a prime pairing with two more favorites.
3. Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Thomas, James Piot (10:45 a.m. ET Thursday): The defending Masters champion is placed with a leading favorite and the U.S. Amateur champion.
🌸2. Jordan Spieth, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele (1:52 p.m. ET Thursday) An deal grouping for all three who should thrive off of the young, hungry company.
🌸1. Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Joaquin Niemann (10:34 a.m. ET Thursday). Tiger ought to enjoy the leisurely pace and classy vibe.
Sandy Lyle and Stewart Hagestad as a two-ball (11:18 a.m. ET Thursday) Keep calm and carry on Sandy! Jeff Knox has retired.
Sergio Garcia, Thomas Pieters, Harold Varner III (1:08 pm ET Thursday). The, uh, most passionate group of competitors.
Jose Maria Olazabal and J.J. Spaun (8 a.m. ET Thursday). A first out draw for the last player into the field.
Mike Weir, Padraig Harrington, Austin Greaser (A) (8:11 a.m. ET Thursday) A Masters tradition of veterans with newcomers.
Larry Mize, Sepp Straka, Francesco Molinari (8:22 ET Thursday) See above.
Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson (7:40 a.m. ET Thursday) The Honorary Starters are scheduled to convene at the traditional time and welcome Watson for the first time.
✅ Hideki Matsuyama on the Green Jacket and whether he ever had it dry cleaned. “As far as the last question about the dry cleaning, I thought about it and it needed to be cleaned, but I just was so worried that something might happen to it. So I didn't want to let it out of my sight. I just spent a year looking at it. I haven't really worn it that much, but I look at it a lot. And now I wish I would have worn it more (Laughter).”
🥩 Jordan Spieth on Tuesday’s Champions Dinner menu: “I played the Dunlop Phoenix in Miyazaki back in 2014, and I might make a lot of people mad in the state of Texas, but it's the best beef I've ever had. To be serving that tonight on top of miso cod and sushi to start, I'm very, very excited. I saw it today. I had no idea what route he was going to go, and I'm excited to shake his hand and say thank you at the end of the night. I might have to get carted off.”
⏳ Rory McIlroy on father time. “I'll keep saying that until it isn't, whenever that is. But right now I still feel like time's on my side. I'm 32 years old with a ton of experience. So I still feel young. I don't -- look, I'm still -- look, I'm only a few years older than those guys. I've got a few more gray hairs than I used to, but I'm still young at heart.”
😎 Jon Rahm on soliciting info from Tiger (with a smile): “I remember asking him at East Lake the year he won, before on the putting green in the practice round, ‘Hey, man, any tips for Bermuda?’ Or this and that. He turned around and said, ‘It's all about feel,’ and just kept going. I was like, Cool, thank you.’” (Laughter)
🚶♂️Justin Thomas on the difficulty of walking Augusta National. “It's very, very long, very hilly, a lot of long walks back to tees. I would say probably 20, 30 years ago it wasn't as bad because you just would get off -- you know, I think of a hole like 6 to 7, you'd get done with 6 and walk right there to 7 tee. Or 8, you get done at 7, you go right there to 8 tee. 9, same type of thing. But now due to lengthening the golf course, it's now you get done with the hole, you walk back 60, 70 yards back to the tee, and then you walk right back again. You add that along with some of the craziest undulation and terrain of any course we'll play all year, it produces some pretty tired, sore legs at the end of the week.”
🤩 Scottie Scheffler, asked about the 2019 Masters. “I've gone back, and I've watched the coverage of that round, and I've watched the Masters highlights on Golf Channel a few times as well. So just watching the way he managed himself around that golf course, maybe not even having his best stuff. He made some mistakes early in the round and didn't play perfect, but he as always hit the right shots at the right time and was able to pull through in that one. It was pretty special to watch.”