AUGUSTA, Ga. – In recent years Tuesday of Masters week has been particularly special for Justin Thomas as a member of one of the most-coveted practice groups that has included Tiger Woods and Fred Couples. This Tuesday, however, was eerily different.
Woods remains at home in South Florida recovering from a severe car crash Feb. 23 in Los Angeles that injured his right leg and ankle. Thomas said he traded text messages with Woods last Friday.
“It's kind of starting to set in,” Thomas said. “He's bummed he's not here playing practice rounds with us, and we hate it, too.
“I'm very, very lucky that I somehow got thrown into that practice-round group with Tiger and Freddie the last four years or whatever it is, especially around this place, I just follow them around like puppy dogs.”
Thomas said Woods is in good spirits, but he didn’t offer any updates on his condition.
Couples also passed on the normal Tuesday practice round. “He didn't feel like getting up in the early cold weather this morning, so I made sure to give him some grief,” Thomas said.
Couples tweeted a picture earlier in the day wearing a face mask with “Frank,” Woods’ iconic head cover, on it and the caption, “Thinking of my guy [Tiger Woods] during this week. I’ll miss you tonight at the [champions] dinner. Not the same without you.”
It wasn't all bad for Thomas, however, as he practiced Tuesday alongside fellow major champions Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry.