‘14 Months Ago I'm Bawling Like A Baby Every Day, And Now You Pair With Him’ Couples On Tiger

The 1992 Masters is in awe of Woods' comeback after playing with him in his final practice round

Tiger Woods, Fred Couples and Justin Thomas take part in their final practice round before the 2022 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fred Couples has explained why he thinks Tiger Woods is ready to play The Masters, after playing with him in practice rounds in the build-up to this year’s tournament at Augusta National.

Woods will be playing his first competitive tournament since injuring his right leg in a car accident 14 months ago, but having witnessed his game up-close, the 1992 Masters winner is convinced Woods is more than ready for the rigours of a Major. After concluding his final practice round with Woods and Justin Thomas, Couples said: 

"I really personally think he looks the exact same. I don't know if you watched any holes, but he stood over the ball, and he says watch this, and he drew it around the corner. He hit a great iron on 12. It hit the bank and went in the water, but it was a flush iron. He knows where to aim, go over there to the left. Basically, No.13, hooked it around the corner. He looks the exact same to me.”

Couples has long admired Woods, and declared the five-time Masters winner the best he’s ever seen last month prior to Woods’ induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Now, having played alongside him in practice rounds as preparations for the Masters conclude, Couples is unwavering in that assertion. He said: 

"I'm not worried about watching him hit a ball ever because he's the best player I've ever seen play. It's a miraculous thing. 14 months ago I'm bawling like a baby every day, and now you pair with him and he looks strong. I know the leg is hurt, but he's driving it with JT. Maybe JT today was a little more pumped up, got him a few times, but he's hitting it plenty far enough to play this course, and he plays this course as well as he does where he's won seven or eight times, and he's won here a bunch. He knows what to do."

Couples, who will play in his 37th Masters this year, also explained that, despite Woods’ impressive displays during his practice rounds, he’s still been looking out for him to ensure he doesn’t aggravate his injuries. He said: “The poor guy, even if he just hits wrong, it hurts. That's why we're kind of - when we walk, we just walk. Last thing I want to know is getting them laughing at me and him step on a sprinkler head or something, but we're all paying attention. He's a brilliant guy. He's a great player, and I think it's amazing for him to be out here.”

Woods tees off at 10.34am EDT/3.34pm BST on Thursday, alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann.

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Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.