Tiger makes more Masters history

Tiger Woods broke the cut mark he shared with three-time champion Gary Player, who advanced to the weekend 23 straight times beginning in 1959, and 1992 winner Fred Couples, whose own streak lasted until 2007.

AUGUSTA, Georgia — The answer was a foregone conclusion but someone in the media had to ask it.

Tiger Woods, what does it mean to mean to pass Fred Couples and Gary Player to set the Masters record for 24 consecutive cuts made?

Tiger answered exactly as you knew he would. “It means I have a chance going into the weekend,” Woods said. “I’m here, I have a chance to win the tournament.”

Woods had just finished battling his way around a windy Augusta National Golf Club track for a second day. He posted a solid even-par 72 and stood at 145, 1 over par. He was guaranteed of making the cut. And in case you thought he ever cared about making a cut for the sake of making a cut, his answer cleared the air. Making the cut matters to him only because he can’t win if he doesn’t play on the weekend. Remember his old “Second place sucks” mantra?


These first two rounds should go down as two of the most remarkable in his storied Masters history. He struck solid shots, he played a superb recovery lefthanded (with the club turned upside down) in the first round and he racked up four birdies in the second round on a day when he had to get up early, return to the course to finish the last four holes of his opening round (a 73) and then go back out on a short turnaround for another 18.

The man can still play. And he certainly knows his way around Augusta National. Tiger believes he can still win this tournament. It would be his sixth Masters. When he finished, playing partner Max Homa was the leader in the clubhouse at 6 under par and Bryson DeChambeau and Scottie Scheffler were still on the course. He has ground to make up. Tiger doesn’t just believe he can do it, he knows he can.

That doesn’t mean he will. It just means he will continue to grind to the bitter end and because he’s still Tiger Woods behind all of those surgeries and fused body parts, you can’t rule him out.


“I was forced to get up-and-down a few times today and I was able to do that,” Woods said. “I left myself in the perfect spots and that’s understanding how to play this course. L don’t think anyone is going to run off and hide but it’s really bunched, The way the ball is moving on the green, chip shots are being blown—it was all you want in a golf course today.”

Woods birdied the third, sixth and eight holes to offset three bogeys on the front. He powered a fairway wood through the wind and reached the par-5 15th hole in two shots and two-putted from 25 feet to atone for a bogey at the 14th. Physically, he looked as good and as strong as he has in years.

Homa was impressed with Tiger’s play. And thrilled to have a view of the action. “It was awesome, it really is a dream to get to play with him here,” said Homa. “I always wanted to watch him hit iron shots around here and I was right up next to him. It was really cool. His short game was so good. I don’t think I can explain how good some of his chip shots were today. You could tell he had so much control. On 18, we got sand-blasted for 45 seconds (from wind blowing out of the bunkers). I turned around five times so I didn’t get crushed in the face. He’s standing there like a statue and then poured his putt right in the middle.

“He’s special.”

While Woods was seemingly unimpressed with breaking the consecutive cuts-made record, he was aware of it. “As soon as I’m done with you guys, I may text Freddy (Couples) and give him a little needle,” Woods said.

Will Couples be expecting that? It’s Tiger Woods. You don’t even have to ask.


Gary Van Sickle has covered golf since 1980, following the tours to 125 men’s major championships, 14 Ryder Cups and one sweet roundtrip flight on the late Concorde. His work appeared, in order, in The Milwaukee Journal, Golf World magazine, Sports Illustrated and Golf.com. He is a former president of the Golf Writers Association of America. His email gvansick at aol dot com.

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