Home-green advantage: Woods wins putting contests

Justin Thomas amd Tiger Woods of the United States walk on the seventh hole  during a practice round prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 2, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas amd Tiger Woods of the United States walk on the seventh hole during a practice round prior to the start of the 2018 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 2, 2018 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Credit: Jamie Squire

Credit: Jamie Squire

Tiger Woods won the putting contest – and, according to Rickie Fowler, he should have.

Home-green advantage, after all.

Not yet cleared for a full swing during his comeback from spinal fusion surgery, Woods’ backyard green was the site of contests with Justin Thomas and Fowler last year.

So who won?

“I think that's probably a loaded question because he's probably already said that he won all of them,” Fowler said before the Masters. “Which I think he did. If not, JT might have got one of them. It was home‑course advantage. He's been hitting quite a few putts on those greens for a number of years now, so if he doesn't win on those greens, then he's got a problem.

“No, we have had a great time over the last couple of years with him being kind of sidelined with being able to be assistant captain on a couple of the teams, to him working on getting healthy again. We got to play quite a bit through the fall, and we have had a great time.”

Woods appears to be fully healthy now. He has played five events on the PGA Tour this year leading into this week’s Masters. He tied for second at the Valspar Championship and tied for fifth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his last two events.

“It's been fun to see him back healthy enjoying playing the game of golf, not just trying to work through what he was able to do with his body and how he was able to move,” Fowler said. “To see him free, healthy, and having fun, it's nice to see him enjoying it. So to see the success he's had earlier this or the start of this year, it's been no surprise, what I saw in the fall and with him having speed back.”