AUGUSTA, Ga. – Fred Couples has become a regular practice round partner of Tiger Woods at the Masters, but as this year’s tournament approached he didn’t expect to hear from the five-time champion.
Woods hasn’t played an official event since he was involved in a car crash in February 2021. He was rehabbing his injuries when he texted Couples.
“Most of the texts were about his kids. [Son] Charlie got fitted for new clubs, his daughter, the [World Golf Hall of Fame] speech, his daughter playing in soccer, and then all of a sudden he said I'm going to go to Augusta,” Couples said. “Because he loves [Justin Thomas] and I and he wants to play these little practice rounds. That was his goal.”
Monday’s round actually evolved more organically than that with Woods sending out a last-minute request Sunday evening: “He sent me a text last night saying, ‘Dude, we're playing at 3 [p.m.] tomorrow, see you on the tee.’ I said, ‘you bet.’”
Woods played the first nine Monday after playing the second nine on Sunday. Couples said the duo plans to play again on Wednesday depending on the weather.