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Augusta National and deadlines

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As the golf world anxiously watches the pot that will likely never boil the idea of deadlines and much-anticipated returns led us to Magnolia Lane.

Tiger Woods has until 5 p.m. (ET) today to commit to next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship – a long-shot, at best, considering it’s sponsored by Accenture (which dropped its endorsement of Woods) and is match play (a fickle format that could limit the world No. 1 to just a single match). Augusta National, however, plays by its own rules as far as commitments and deadlines go.

At the beginning of each year players are sent invitations to play the Masters with a small notation at the bottom, “Please RSVP.” Most players call to confirm they will attend, as if skipping was a real option, but some longtime participants simply show up on Monday or Sunday of tournament week.

Technically there is no deadline, which means Woods could roll up on the first tee on Thursday and go to work. Don’t count on it, but for the man who likes to travel under the radar it’s worth thinking about.