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Can Tiger Woods Win This Year’s Masters?

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods. Image: Paddy Briggs

The unofficial start of the golfing season begins on Thursday in Augusta, Georgia, with one of the most prestigious events in golf, the Masters Tournament.

The Masters golf tournament goes all the way back to 1934.

However, it is a recent win by Tiger Woods—perhaps the greatest player in the history of golf—that has everyone talking. They want to know: will Woods win his fifth Masters?

Even though he is a great player, if Woods wins the Masters this year it will be a big surprise.

That’s because until last month, Woods hadn’t won a tournament in nearly three years. It was the longest drought of his career.

About three years ago, Tiger Woods’s career—and his personal life—had a melt-down. He had a very public divorce with many problems. He also had issues with his golf form (in other words, the way he swung the club) as well as injuries.

He stopped winning. And many people wrote him off entirely.

However, it looks like he might be getting his game back to the elite level that has brought him an amazing 72 official PGA (Professional Golfers Association) wins.

Is he capable of winning the Masters? No one can say for sure. But if he does, it will be a huge win for him and will show that he can withstand enormous pressure.

In a typical golf tournament, players play 18 holes of golf on the Thursday, 18 on Friday, 18 on Saturday and then they play the final round of 18 on Sunday.

After each day, if a golfer doesn’t reach a certain score he is cut from the tournament.

So, to make it to Sunday is impressive. And to be in the lead going into Sunday and then hold that lead—and then win–is an astounding achievement. It means you’ve been able to deal with intense pressure and keep your cool.

If Tiger can stay in contention through Saturday and end up playing on Sunday, he’ll have a chance to show everyone that he’s back on track towards being the awe-inspiring golfer he once was: the one who has won 14 major championships including four Masters.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Tiger Woods’s real name is Eldrick. His full name is Eldrick Tont Woods.

According to Wikipedia:

Woods’ first name, Eldrick, was coined by his mother because it began with “E” (for Earl) and ended with “K” (for Kultida). His middle name Tont is a traditional Thai name. He was nicknamed Tiger in honor of his father’s friend Col. Vuong Dang Phong, who had also been known as Tiger.

“Tiger” is actually his nickname, but it’s the name by which most people know him.

Do you think Tiger Woods’s nickname is appropriate or inappropriate for him? Why?

Can you think up any nicknames for yourself, your family members or friends (or even pets)? 

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
Why is this tournament so important for Tiger Woods? In your answer, identify the main idea in the article and use information from the article to support your answer.

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by identifying important ideas and some supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of a variety of texts by summarizing important ideas and citing supporting details (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Grammar Feature: Suffix
A suffix is a letter or a few letters that are added on to the end of a root word. One root word that is written in the article several times is ‘play’. What suffixes are added to the end of this word to change its meaning?