Let me preface what I’m about say by stating unequivocally that I believe having a bad back would hurt one’s chances greatly at The Masters. Ok, now let’s move on. 

I feel like Tiger Woods is doing one of two things by giving the media this quote about his current back ailments (a bulging disk): 

“For Augusta, it’s actually still a little too soon (to know), to be honest with you. That’s kind of the frustrating thing about this. I had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and trying to get ready for Augusta. As of right now, it’s still too soon, which is, as I said, pretty frustrating.”

1. He’s bluffing. Why would Tiger bluff about the severity of his back injury? It takes the pressure off heading into the tournament he cares more about than anything else, The Masters. I think it would be unrealistic to think any of us could relate to the amount of pressure Woods is under at The Masters. It’s a different beast, in a different world that we simply wouldn’t understand. That’s not to say we don’t have our own troubles and pressures. We do. They’re just different. 

The problem with Tiger bluffing about this is, none of his competitors would really buy it. Even if he’s not the same intimidating force he was years ago at Augusta, he’s still Tiger Woods at Augusta. The Sunday Red hasn’t quite lost all of its luster. 

2. He’s being serious. In other words, don’t expect to see Tiger walking the fairways of August in the Sunday red I just mentioned… let alone whatever he’s got planned for Saturday. If his back isn’t right, he’s not making it to the weekend, which will be disappointing to fans and most of all to CBS. I can almost hear Jim Nantz waxing poetically about what could have been for Tiger if his back wasn’t being as difficult as Amen Corner. 

We’ll see what happens, but I would temper your hopes for Tiger at The Masters this year, if they haven’t been thoroughly beaten to a pulp already over the past few years.