Defending Masters champion, Tiger Woods admits it is going to be ‘very different’ without 40,000 patrons (not spectators) missing from November’s rescheduling of The Masters.
Some 16 months ago, Woods ended an 11-year major victory drought with his remarkable win at Augusta National.
However, a recent decision by officials will now see the November 12-15 Masters go ahead behind closed doors.
It means also that those teeing-up at Augusta National will do so without family and friends being in attendance.
Woods was asked his thoughts in returning to Augusta in mid-November ahead of this week’s BMW Championship in Chicago.
“As far as them making the decision to play and have the event with no fans, that’s what we’re doing right now with the PGA Tour, with our restart, so that’s just a continuation of what we had,” said Woods.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have had no real big incidents and outbreaks out here on Tour, and we’ve had guys that have followed the isolation and have quarantined themselves and have got back out here effectively. So there’s no reason we can’t have the Masters.
“Now, it’s going to be very different without 40,000 people there each day. That’s one of the things that we’ve noticed out here on Tour already is the experience of having to deal with the movement of the crowds and the noise, and the roars aren’t going to go up.
“It’s going to make a big difference to all of us. It has out here week in and week out. We just don’t have the same type of energy, and the distractions, too, as well. Guys are making more birdies because of it, not having to deal with the amount of distractions.
“But Augusta will be very different. When I first went there and had a chance to play in ’95 and seeing it with no fans, it was eye-opening how much room there is. When you put 40,000 people on such a small piece of property, I know there’s no rough, but it gets confined.”
And fellow Masters champion, Danny Willett agrees with Woods, revealing he played the famed Georgia course last December and in February earlier this year.
“With no patrons there this year it is going to be strange,” said the 2016 Augusta National winning hero.
“Luckily I’ve played it with nobody there, I’m not sure if many guys will have done that. It’s a very different experience and a very different looking golf course, something that a few guys might have to get used to.
“It’s going to be a very different experience, out of any golf tournament in the world with the patrons and the fans at the Majors, it makes a hell of a difference.
“The atmosphere will be very different but I’m sure, you’ve got a world-class golf course and you’ll have a world-class champion and hopefully everything can go well for Augusta for the week.”