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Fan Outcry Against Tiger Woods to Cease as Alleged Secret Note Buddy Makes Unexpected Revelation

Published 04/14/2024, 4:15 PM EDT

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The 2024 Masters week was a rollercoaster for Tiger Woods. It had everything from setting new records and hoping to win another major to carding the worst scores of his career. Despite the turbulence, he called it a “good week.” And a rollercoaster? That’s precisely how Low Amateur Neal Shipley would describe his week, starting it at a Waffle House and ending it with a 1-over on Sunday, 4 shots better than his 48-year-old playing mate. But to cap off the remarkable week, Shipley fielded an uncomfortable question.

“On a fairway, [Woods] wrote down something and handed you a note. What was that about?” asked a reporter. Visibly confused, Shipley looked around and replied, “No, that didn’t happen.” Per Augusta National Rules, players aren’t allowed to take advice from or touch other competitors’ equipment. That alleged secret note may not have been all it was made out to be. But something else that Shipley revealed was more than enough to silence Woods’ critics.

Heading into the first major of the year, there was incessant chatter on social media that Woods was simply coming on the greens for fun without any serious preparation. The noise grew only louder yesterday, after his worst round at the Masters. Woods shot 10-over 82 on the Moving Day, dotted with 8 bogeys and 2 double-bogeys. However, Neal Shipley offered a glimpse into Woods’ preparation – 3.45 AM alarm. Practice rounds. Swing analysis with Charlie Woods. Just some of what the former World No. 1 went through ahead of the final round.

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Following the final round, the 23-year-old said, Certainly rooting for [Tiger Woods] and rooting for good golf shots. He was awesome. Wish him nothing but the best. I really appreciate all the work that he does to keep his body ready to come out here. He told me that he woke up at 3:45 this morning just to get ready for the day, which is—I got about three hours more sleep than him.

Given Woods’ performance on the last two days – leaving Augusta with a 16-over 304 – some people in the golf community even called for this retirement. Besides his subpar score, it was the fact that he was seemingly struggling to walk owing to all his ailments in the recent past. On Friday, Woods even had an adhesive pain patch on his back and was spotted rubbing an Icy Hot-like balm on his torso.

The five-time Masters champion played 23 holes in a long Friday. Acknowledging the amount of effort the 48-year-old put in, Shipley added, “He’s really grinding and making a big commitment to be out here for everyone. It’s awesome to see the patrons really appreciative of him and really enjoy having him out here.” From what the 23-year-old said and the fact that Woods completed all 4 rounds, fan sentiment did change for the better as the Masters concluded.

Tiger Woods may have had his worst Masters, but he shouldn’t be disappointed

The 2024 Masters was the first time since the 2023 Hero World Challenge that Tiger Woods finished all four rounds. He may have carded his worst score at Augusta, walking away with a 16-over 304. But at the end of the day, most were just glad he made it through. One fan wrote, “Tiger played the entire 72. Score doesn’t matter. What an incredible accomplishment.” 

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With the injuries and operations he’s had to nurse for quite some time now, this was the first time he took to the course after withdrawing from the Genesis Invitational earlier this year. That, coupled with concerns about him having to walk the entire hilly Augusta course, everyone was impressed that he achieved it. “Tiger Woods finished four rounds of golf at Augusta National. That alone is incredible in 2024,” wrote one.

Bringing up a striking stat about Woods, another fan expressed, “Tiger completes four rounds at a major for just the second time since … the 2020 November Masters (which feels like it was 25 years ago).” There’s no denying that his return to Augusta didn’t go how he would’ve wanted it to. Alluding to this, an X user wrote, “Tiger Woods has to be disappointed in his performance, but he shouldn’t be. His body survived 4 rounds of golf, he had some good moments here & there. The precision he had at his peak will start to show the more he plays & consistency will come w/ conditioning.”

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As Woods continues working on his game to regain his lost form, one fan only focused on the positive. “No matter how good or bad of a day it is on the course, there’s nothing like watching Tiger Woods play golf.” What were your thoughts on the 48-year-old’s Augusta outing?

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

957Articles

One take at a time

Parnab Bhattacharya is a Beat Writer at EssentiallySports in the Golf Division. With four years of writing experience, he is now exploring his deep-rooted love for the gentleman’s sport. Parnab's area of expertise is his predictive and perspective pieces, where he explores all things golf, diving deep into the whys and whats behind players' and Tours' moves in the sport, and unflinchingly voicing his take.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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