Tiger Woods finishes Masters weekend 60th and last as tips from 15-year-old son fail to help

Charlie Woods coaching his dad
Woods was seen on the range, apparently taking lessons from his own son - Getty Image/Andrew Redington

A defiant Tiger Woods insisted it had been a “good week” for him overall at the Masters despite finishing 60th and last of those who made the cut.

The five-time champion warmed up for his final round on Sunday in the company of his son Charlie, receiving swing tips from the 15-year-old on the range, but struggled again out on course, eventually posting a five-over-par 77 to finish on +16 for the tournament.

It was Woods’ worst ever score at Augusta and four shots worse than his playing partner Neal Shipley, the last amateur in the field.

Woods, though, insisted he was happy overall given how little he had played in the build-up to this year’s Masters, adding he was looking forward to getting some “longer practice sessions in” ahead of next month’s US PGA at Valhalla.

“It was a good week,” he said. “I think that coming in here, not having played a full tournament in a very long time, it was a good fight on Thursday and Friday.”

Woods had battled superbly to make a record 24th consecutive cut at the Masters, shooting 73 and 72 in tricky, windy conditions on Thursday and Friday. But after making headlines by saying he felt he could win a sixth green jacket, he collapsed to an 82 on Saturday, his worst ever round in a major.

Woods was spotted on the range before his final round in the company of son Charlie. The teenager, himself an accomplished golfer, helped his father work through some swing drills. Woods said he would keep “grinding” in the build-up to next month’s US PGA Championship at Valhalla. The Louisville, Kentucky course is one he knows well, having won the PGA title there 24 years ago. He also said he was also looking forward to the US Open at Pinehurst in June and the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon in July.

“I think the rest of the majors is definitely doable,” he said. “Hopefully for the next three my body will cooperate.”

Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, U.S. - April 14, 2024 Tiger Woods of the U.S. acknowledges the crowd on the green on the 18th hole after completing his final round
Woods refused to sound downbeat despite his performance on Sunday - The Masters/Mike Blake

If there was an abiding image of Woods from this year’s Masters, it may have been that of the 15-time major champion, stony-faced, on his ‘drive of shame’ back to the fifth tee on Sunday.

He had to get a lift. Woods had sliced his first drive right into the trees, played a provisional, then found his first ball, only to deem it unplayable. With no safe place to drop, the only course of action was to hop in a buggy back to the tee.

For Woods, who has always rejected the use of any motorised assistance, despite his litany of injuries, despite the bone fusions, who once famously roasted John Daly for using a buggy at the PGA Championship in 2019, pointing out that he had won the 2008 US Open with a broken leg, it would have been a bitter pill to swallow. A sign not only that he was playing poorly by his standards, but a symbolic sign of weakness too.

Woods framed his week afterwards as a positive one. It is certainly possible to see it that way. Off the back of one competitive round all year, he arrived at Augusta with a broken body and no form whatsoever and made his 24th consecutive cut at one of the hardest courses on earth.

“Unfortunately yesterday [Saturday] it didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted it to. And today the round that I… the way that Tom [Kim, who shot 66] is playing, I thought I had in my system. Unfortunately, I didn’t produce it,” Woods said.

It was a fascinating couple of minutes, actually, listening to Woods in the shadow of Augusta’s clubhouse. Some might accuse him of being delusional. But he clearly still believes he can do it. After posting a 73 and a 72 in his opening two rounds, Woods had raised eyebrows by stating that he felt he could contend for a sixth Green Jacket. “I’m right there,” he said.

A few people laughed at that boast in light of what transpired afterwards. Woods’s third round 82 – his worst ever round at Augusta – sent him tumbling down the field. And his final round 77 on Sunday saw him finish on 16-over-par for the tournament, last of the 60 players who made the cut from the initial 89-man field.

That was four shots worse off than his playing partner Neal Shipley, the last amateur in the field, with whom he had started the day level.  Shipley, incidentally, who at 22 is far closer in age to Woods’ son Charlie than he is to Woods himself, had something of a dream day, starting when he went up to introduce himself to Tiger and his son on the range beforehand – Charlie was giving his dad swing tips – and ending it in the Butler Cabin being awarded the Silver Cup as the tournament’s low amateur finisher.

But no one should mock Woods. He has been in that cabin enough times himself. He won the Silver Cup back in 1995, not to mention five Green Jackets. And while some might feel he was sunk by his own hubris in thinking he could carry off a sixth this year, it was exactly that mindset that enabled him to win the 2019 Masters after a decade of injury, when no one gave him a prayer.

It was tough at times watching him struggle over the weekend, sweating profusely as he limped around, a shadow of his former self. But it was possible, too, to admire the graft, the willpower. Roared on by the crowds who stood to applaud him on every tee and green, he only rolled back the years a handful of times, hitting the tee flag on 14 to elicit cheers. But he stuck at it. Woods and Shipley actually played much faster than Kim and Denny McCarthy in the group behind. And that was despite Woods’ motorised trip back to the tee box on five.

Woods said he would keep grinding away in the build-up to next month’s US PGA at Valhalla. The Kentucky course is one he knows well, having won the PGA title there 24 years ago. He also said he was also looking forward to the US Open at Pinehurst in June and the 152nd Open Championship at Royal Troon in July. “I just need to keep lifting, keep the motor going, keep the body moving, keep getting stronger, keep progressing. Hopefully the practice sessions will keep getting longer.” Maybe he is delusional. Maybe his ego is writing cheques his body cannot cash. But Woods clearly still believes.