After Further Review: Woods can't miss Augusta


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on why Tiger Woods should play the Masters, Jordan Spieth's thrilling win and Patrick Reed's competitive fire.

He hasn’t been seen since limping off at the Farmers, and he just bailed on an event he’s won eight times, but it’s still hard to believe Tiger Woods could miss his second consecutive Masters. He hasn't closed the door on playing Augusta, but merely has said he "hope[s] to be ready for the Masters."

Regardless of what Hank Haney has to say on the matter, it’s unclear what Woods could care about at this stage – in golf – other than major championships.

At 39, Woods has only so many more chances to win No. 15 – let alone Nos. 16-18 – so why let another opportunity slip by? What’s the down side? We’ve already seen him butcher TPC Scottsdale and Torrey Pines. Two miserable rounds at Augusta wouldn’t be any kind of shock.

At this rate, Tiger playing poorly is the status quo. If he’s healthy, Woods has little to lose and everything to gain. – Nick Menta

Towering flop shots delicately descending, as if landing on pillows near flagsticks.

Blasts from seemingly, impossibly plugged lies in the lips of bunkers.

Skilled extractions from gnarly, thick grasses just off greens.

So many fantastic pars.

That’s what Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed gave us Sunday at the Valspar Championship with their short-game wizardry. For as much as we made of the titanic blasts around the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral last week, Sunday’s finish at Innisbrook was so much more riveting with all those dramatic par saves coming from all those little shots.

Watching Spieth’s and Reed’s short-game mastery was so much more interesting than watching all the long ball being played the week before.

Hooray for small ball, and the fact that the game still gives us a bit of everything with its diverse venues. – Randall Mell

You may not like Patrick Reed (and judging by my Twitter timeline during the final round, several of you don't), but holy smokes is he a breath of fresh air for the PGA Tour.

He says what he thinks ("I’m one of the top five players in the world.")

He's got the body of a weekend warrior, but the powerful swing us hacks all dream of having.

He has no problem playing the heel (see Ryder Cup, 2014), and he backs up all his bravado with some gutsy shots under pressure.

Drop a 30-footer on 18 to post 10 under? No problem. Ball buried in the lip of a bunker on the first playoff hole? Blasted out and saved par. A delicate flop from deep rough to stay in the playoff? Got that up and down, too.

Alas, he couldn't match Spieth's birdie on the third playoff hole, but with a win at Kapalua and another top-10 at the Honda, get used to seeing Reed on Sunday and watch his impressive resume continue to grow. – Ryan Reiterman