(Reuters) – Justin Thomas reckons a wholesome Tiger Woods may have an excellent probability of difficult at April’s Masters, whereas on the similar time reserving judgment over the 14-occasions main champion’s comeback.
Stating that a number of veterans have excellent data at Augusta Nationwide, Thomas stated on Monday that Woods might comply with the instance set by the likes of Bernhard Langer and Fred Couples.
“If he’s wholesome, there’s no cause he wouldn’t (play properly),” Thomas stated in a teleconference name.
“There’s a cause Freddie performed so nicely there for therefore lengthy (and) Langer… as a result of it’s such a bonus figuring out the course and the extra you play, the world of distinction it makes.”
Woods, who turns forty two on Dec. 30, has gained the Masters 4 occasions, most lately in 2005.
Couples, the 1992 champion, now aged fifty eight, has continued to carry out nicely at Augusta into his 50s, ending within the prime 20 on six of his previous seven appearances.
Germany’s twice Masters champion Langer, in the meantime, was in rivalry on the age of fifty seven going into the ultimate spherical in 2014, earlier than ending equal eighth.
Woods is trying a comeback after a number of again surgical procedures. He has hardly performed over the previous two years and whereas few anticipate him to recapture his earlier greatness, the jury continues to be out.
“If he performs wholesome, I feel he’ll have a terrific yr,” stated Thomas, who performed with Woods within the ultimate spherical of the Hero World Problem within the Bahamas two weeks in the past.
“It’s onerous to not hype it up or speak about this or that however in actuality we have to see what occurs as a result of nobody is aware of.
“He was simply so pleased (on the World Problem), which was cool to see. I’ve spent a while with him the final couple of years and I’ve by no means seen him so comfortable … having a lot enjoyable and grinding it out and enjoying nicely.”
World quantity three Thomas is coming off an excellent yr highlighted by his main breakthrough victory on the PGA Championship in August.
He gained 4 different occasions in 2017 and has set new objectives for 2018, although he isn’t sharing them publicly.
Thomas has loved a while off just lately recharging his batteries for the brand new season, which he’ll kick off in two weeks’ time by defending his title on the season opening Event of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii.
The 24-yr-previous stated he had carried out little throughout his break and outlined a typical day that consists of lounging on the sofa at his south Florida residence, punctuated by journeys to the fitness center and a dip within the swimming pool.
“Whenever you do win, it takes a lot out of you,” he stated. “It was such a loopy finish of the yr. It caught as much as me.”
Reporting by Andrew Each in Cary, North Carolina; Modifying by Ken Ferris