AUGUSTA, Ga. — Around every corner at Augusta National is another reminder that Tiger Woods isn’t getting any younger.
He played a practice round with a teenager from China who wasn’t even born when Woods won his first Masters. He was introduced at his news conference yesterday as playing the Masters for the 19th time, which caused Woods to bow his head and cover his eyes.
Among dozens of photographs on the walls of the club is one of defending champion Phil Mickelson helping Woods — with a much fuller head of hair — into the green jacket after Woods won the Masters in a playoff.
That was from 2005. And that was the last time Woods won the Masters.
Woods says at least he’s contending, so he’s not about to panic.
He conceded that it feels a lot longer than eight years ago, though he is not the least bit discouraged that the Masters is the major he has gone the longest without winning.
Since that Sunday evening, Woods has won the British Open twice, the PGA Championship twice and another U.S. Open.
Could he have imagined in 2005 that seven Masters would come and go without him winning?
“I wouldn’t have been happy with that,” Woods said. “I put myself in the mix every year but last year, and that’s the misleading part. It’s not like I’ve been out there with no chance of winning this championship. I’ve been there, and unfortunately just haven’t got it done.
“Obviously, I’m not real happy with the fact that I haven’t won more,” he said. “But the whole idea is to give myself opportunities. And as of right now, I’m tied for second on the all-time win list here. So that’s not too bad, either.”