The 2022 Masters was won by Scottie Scheffler but there’s a solid chance that what most people will remember was Tiger Woods’ epic return to the golf course following a car crash just one year earlier. While Tiger finished out of contention on Sunday, the fact that he was able to play at all, let alone make the cut, was astounding and drew tons of eyeballs to the tournament that might not have tuned in otherwise.
Skip Bayless took it one step further. The Undisputed host said on Monday that he feels Woods “won” this year’s Masters.
"Tiger Woods won this Masters, that's how I took it."
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 11, 2022
“Allow me to tell you why Tiger Woods won this Masters. That’s how I took it,” said Bayless.
“Yesterday’s finish was, fittingly, the most anti-climactic Masters finish in the history of this tournament that I’m aware of… Remember, Tiger Woods was finishing with his walk-up 18 about the same time the leaders were teeing off. So we had Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Smith going off number 1 as he is just about walking 18. He is as also-ran as you can get and he took over the golf tournament.”
While Bayless heaped praise on Scheffler for his run of strong golf wins, culminating with the Masters, but found that his “bland” presence was his undoing when it comes to how the 2022 tournament will be remembered.
“It was the bland leading the bland,” Bayless said of Scheffler. “Nobody cared because everybody cared about Tiger’s return. The beauty of what Tiger did was — my pet peeve in life is that so often we see notable figures in our world, they have to die before they get the acclaim that they deserve. Before they get celebrated and eulogized and honored the way they deserve to be honored and they don’t get to see it unless they’re watching from above. Tiger, he got eulogized, man, because he had a near-death experience and it was as if yesterday he had come all the way back from the dead.”
There is, of course, some hyperbole here, as Skip is wont to do. But he’s making a fair point in that the story of the weekend was Tiger Woods and was always going to be Tiger so long as he continued playing golf. There’s a reason he won the Player Impact Program last year despite not playing one round of golf.
Woods has said that he plans to play in the British Open, so perhaps if Scheffler can keep up his hot streak, we’ll get to see a showdown between the two and the new champion will get a chance to outshine the legend. But until then, it’s Tiger’s gold world and we’re all just admiring it.