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Can Tiger Woods win again? CBS’s Frank Nobilo says, ‘His chances of winning are close to none’

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The last time we saw Tiger Woods he was limping off the course at Augusta National after finishing dead last among those players who completed 72 holes at the Masters. He’s back this week – sporting a goatee, no less – for the 106th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, a course where at this tournament in 2000 Woods became the first player to win three straight majors since Ben Hogan in 1953.

In April, Woods showed grit and moxie and that he’s still got the shots to stay within striking distance of the lead through 36 holes, even in some of the most difficult conditions that had been seen at the Masters in a long time. Woods set a Masters record, making the cut for the 24th consecutive time, but shot 82 on Saturday.

“This one was done sort of with string and tape, really,” CBS commentator Frank Nobilo said recently on the “Musings on Sports” podcast.

But as far as winning a 16th major championship? Nobilo said it’s time to be realistic.

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“This is going to come across as negative but you’ve got to say no,” he said on the podcast. “I would never say no against Tiger Woods but to be realistic if you added all the players up together you’d say that his chances of winning are close to none, right? If he was to do what he did in 2019 (at the Masters) again that’s how amazing that would be. I didn’t think 2019 would happen and if I went back to the week before I think I’m on record saying I don’t think it’s possible. That’s how good a performance that was.”

If Woods only is capable of making the cut, it begs the question: How much longer will he keep showing up at majors? ESPN golf analyst Curtis Strange, a two-time U.S. Open champion, also expressed doubt that Woods would be adding to his 82 career PGA Tour titles.

“When that energy and that adrenaline wears off either sometime Thursday or Friday, what does he have after that?” Strange wondered. “We saw it a little bit at the Masters, the energy wore out, and there’s not the goal of winning, so what else is there for him? I think he’ll hit a lot of good shots and make some putts, but can he do it over four days?”

Curtis Strange is a part of ESPN’s broadcasting crew.

Strange’s ESPN colleague Andy North was more hopeful.

“I think every one of the majors he plays he’s got a better chance. I think they all become easier walks for him as we get into the season. But I think he’s played well at Valhalla. He’s got some great memories there. He’s got a lot of great shots he can step up on tees and remember hitting. I think that’s really important,” North said.“Where is his game in the last month? How much work has he been able to get in? I think that’s what it all boils down to.”

For that answer let’s listen to what Woods said on Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference. He noted that his body is OK, that the fused ankle “is what it is,” and added, “I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don’t have a lot of competitive reps, so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.”

But Woods still has the self-belief that he can hit the shots and that he can find some of the old magic at a place where he tasted victory in 2000.

“It’s getting around is more of the difficulty that I face day-to-day and the recovery of pushing myself either in practice or in competition days. You saw it at Augusta. I was there after two days and didn’t do very well on the weekend,” he said. “I still feel that I can win golf tournaments. I still feel I can hit the shots and still feel like I still have my hand around the greens and I can putt. I just need to do it for all four days, not like I did at Augusta for only two.”

Max Homa played with Woods during the opening two rounds at Augusta National and raved about the way Woods performed to make it to the weekend at the Masters. Asked how much gas Woods still has in the tank, Homa said, “If he had made anything he would have been right around the lead. So, it was a tough draw for him in that we had to play 20-odd some holes the second day. He wasn’t limping too bad. So, yeah, I think he’s got a decent amount.”

But can Tiger win again?

“At some point it probably just comes down to him, just how badly does he want it,” Homa said. “Watching him play those two days at Augusta, I very much thought he could win another golf tournament. So I don’t know tank-wise, but he works his ass off and he’s really, really good at golf so I would put nothing past him at this point. It always would be crazy to think he would win another one.”

Of Woods’s manic effort to keep playing after being involved in a single-car accident that battered his body and required multiple surgeries, Nobilo agreed.

“Everything he’s done to still play golf again, I don’t know of a single person that would be even trying to play golf again with what he’s gone through,” he said.

Woods’s quest for major No. 16 and win No. 83 begins on Thursday at 8:04 a.m. ET off the 10th tee in a grouping with Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley.

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