'If He Can Walk, He Can Win' - Tiger's Former Coach Gives His Augusta Verdict

The former coach of Tiger Woods, Hank Haney, gave his thoughts on Tiger's potential Masters return

Haney and Woods chat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf's first Major is right around the corner. However, it has been the possible return of a certain Tiger Woods that is catching the headlines, with the 15-time Major winner possibly making a competitive return following his serious car crash in February 2021.

And now, an individual who worked with the 15-time Major champion, has given his thoughts on the matter, with Hank Haney tweeting: "I’ve been saying this for a year, if Tiger can walk again, he can win again."

On Tuesday, Tiger's jet was spotted flying and landing at Augusta Regional Airport, with the five-time Green Jacket winner then seen playing a practice round at Augusta National with his son, Charlie, and close friend, Justin Thomas.

The news came after it was reported that Tiger had also been seen walking Medalist, a venue where a fair amount of PGA Tour professionals practice, with his caddie, Joe LaCava. 

On Wednesday, following his practice round at Augusta National, the 46-year-old then flew home to Florida, with the possibility of a potential return at the Masters still a mystery. 

What we do know is that many professionals and analysts have given their thoughts on the possible return, with many giving a positive insight. One of those individuals, is Hank Haney, who coached Tiger throughout 2004 to 2010.

During his time coaching the 46-year-old, Woods claimed six Major titles as well as many PGA Tour victories. However, following the news of his possible return in April, former coach, Haney, has stated that: "If Tiger can walk again, he can win again."

For Tiger though, he has initially said to be eyeing a return to competitive golf in 2023, with the Masters said to be his preferred destination where he can overtake Jack Nicklaus as the oldest winner of the tournament. The 15-time Major champion has also already stated that he will be present at the Champions Dinner on the Tuesday, irrespective of whether he competes or not. 

Haney with Woods at the Masters

Woods with Haney at the 2010 Masters 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

So, what are the odds that Tiger does make a comeback at the Masters? Well, a source on the ground at Augusta National gave a positive account to ESPN, revealing: "He played every one of them (18 holes). He looked good to me." Along with the source, bets on Tiger to win the Masters have surged since the plane spotting, with the American attracting 7.6% of the bets on him to be donning the Green Jacket on Sunday.

Aside from a Tiger return, it has also been revealed that the team at Augusta National have been making some changes, with the iconic layout seeing the 11th and 15th holes lengthened by a total of 35 yards.

White Dogwood and Firethorn, which have both been extended by 15 to 20 yards, will now play even tougher, with the overall distance of the course going from 7,475 yards to a record 7,510 yards. 

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x