‘Less Than 50/50 Chance’ - Brad Faxon On Tiger Woods’ Masters Return

Despite growing speculation that Woods is about to launch one of the all-time great comebacks, the veteran isn’t so sure

Brad Faxon hits a tee shot at the 2020 PGA Tour Champions Timber Tech Championship at The Old Course at Broken Sound
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Brad Faxon has said he thinks Tiger Woods’ chances of playing in this year’s Masters are less than 50/50.

Speaking on Sirius XM’s PGA Tour Radio, the 60-year-old American, who nowadays plays in the PGA Tour Champions, responded to reports that Woods was seen walking Medalist Golf Club in South Florida recently, which led to speculation that it could be in preparation for an unlikely return to competitive action at next week’s tournament at Augusta National. However, Faxon pointed out that walking Medalist is an altogether different proposition to playing the latter.

“The word jumps out that Tiger’s played the last couple days. He's walked, the course, he's played by himself, getting ready. I don't think he wants to tell anyone what he's doing, and look, Medalist like most or many of the courses down here is dead flat. He doesn't have to worry about walking uphill or downhill or really particularly odd lies, but I think he needs his stamina back before he can even think about whether he can go play.”

Despite Faxon’s clear scepticism that Woods could be just days away from a comeback – and at arguably the most famous event of them all – he didn’t completely dismiss the suggestion, and said if it did happen, it would rank alongside one of the all-time great returns. He continued: “I'm continually amazed by the things Tiger Woods can do. And, if he puts his mind together and feels OK, can he, ranked 944th in the world, come back and play at the Masters and then could he contend? It would be an unbelievable Ben Hogan-like success story.”

Hogan famously won the 1950 US Open, just 16 months after a bus crash almost took his life and, while Faxon sees some potential in Woods’ ability to do something similar, he’s far from convinced it will happen just yet. He concluded: “My emotion wants him to play. If I had to bet money I would say it’s probably less than 50/50.”

Speculation that Woods could play The Masters has gone into overdrive in recent days. Despite playing down his chances when speaking at last month’s Genesis Invitational, Woods' inclusion in the Masters field at this relatively late stage was enough to set the rumour mill off. Next, those reports of his Medalist Golf Club appearance circulated, while the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis has said Woods will “exhaust every effort” to compete next week.

Earlier, Woods’ plane landed at Augusta Regional Airport, causing a considerable social media frenzy, with many suggesting he’s in the area on a scouting mission at Augusta National as he steps up preparations to compete next week. Further reports then suggested he'd been at the course with his son, Charlie, and Justin Thomas.

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.