Tiger Woods entered this week as the reigning and defending Masters champion, and after Thursday he appeared to be firmly in the mix after a 4-under 68 to open the tournament. However, as the week wore on, his back seemed to tighten up and he simply couldn’t find much in the way of birdies to keep up with the incredible play at the top of the leaderboard, steadily shuffling back until he entered Sunday’s final round 11 shots off the pace of Dustin Johnson.
When he arrived at the 12th hole, which was the site of the turnaround that helped him to the green jacket in 2019, he was 3-under for the tournament and out of contention. As such, what transpired on the infamous par-3 didn’t ruin any chances to win the tournament, but simply provided a reminder of the difficulties of Augusta National and how perilously close to the edge every golfer is at all times there, even those who know the course better than anyone else.
Woods struggled to gauge the wind on the tee, dumping his tee shot into Rae’s Creek in front of the green. He then took a drop and hit a wedge just underneath the hole, that spun back off the green and into the creek. His third attempt to get across (and fifth shot of the hole with two penalty strokes) did what so many do, which is sail the green and end up in the back bunker, but left him a disastrous stance. His sixth shot from that stance got bladed and launched back into the water.
Tiger Woods finds the water for the third time on No. 12.
He would go on to make a 10. pic.twitter.com/xNAdsu08Bt
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 15, 2020
From there he’d drop in the bunker, hack out, and two-putt for a 10. The shot dots from the Masters website tell the full story of the carnage.
There are few courses, when they get firm and fast and the wind picks up, that can be as unforgiving as Augusta National and few holes more diabolical than the short 12th that looks so simple but always, always destroys someone’s round on Sunday. Woods wasn’t in contention but his hopes of a solid finish went up in smoke with that display on the 12th, a reminder that no one is safe from the wrath of Amen Corner.