‘He Looks Exactly The Same’ - Couples Latest Tiger Woods Evaluation

Tiger Woods has completed his final practice round ahead of the Masters, with Couples impressed with what he saw

Tiger Woods is joined by Freddie Couples and Justin Thomas for a practice round at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the eve of the opening round of the Masters Tournament, Tiger Woods again joined Fred Couples and Justin Thomas for a practice round. Having played the front-nine on Tuesday, which left Couples in awe, the trio elected to play the famous back-nine at Augusta National.

Couples, who won the tournament back in 1992, has been a long-time friend of Woods and a compatriot in many practice rounds over the years; including 2019 when he went on to claim his fifth Green Jacket.

Speaking at the media centre immediately after the practice round, Couples drew comparison to what he witnessed then: "I personally think - 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."

With Tiger demonstrating the repertoire of shots required to succeed at Augusta National, the 62-year old continued with his praise: "Tiger is Tiger. I said it on Monday that he's not like a lot of us where I've been injured even at age 35 and I go play just to play. He's not going to do that. He's won so many times, and he's just not a guy to go do something mediocre. He'll compete, and he'll be ready to roll."

Speculation began to grow when Woods' name remained "listed in the field" on the official Masters website, with the 46-year old refusing to rule himself out. The fifteen-time Major champion arrived at Augusta National to test the extent of his injuries, before declaring his participation a "game time decision". Speaking at the press conference at the beginning of the week, Woods revealed his intention to play in the tournament. Not only that, he revealed his objection: to win.

"I can hit it just fine. I don’t have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint," Woods said. "Walking’s the hard part. This is normally not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the condition my leg is in it gets a little more difficult. 72 holes is a long road and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for.”

Woods participation in the Masters marks another famous comeback and Couples latest assessment is sure to fire up the golfing world who will be hoping the five-time Masters champion can mount a charge to tie Jack Nicklaus with the most Masters victories and overtake him as the oldest winner of the Green Jacket. 

Woods will tee it up at 10.34am EDT/3.34pm BST alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann.

James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.