Tiger Woods identifies the 1 shot he wants to dial in for the Masters

Tiger Woods said the high draw will be crucial for him at Augusta.

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The Masters might be two weeks away, but the green jacket is still at the top of every player’s mind — especially that of the defending champion.

In what was likely his final tune-up before the Masters, Tiger Woods finished near the bottom of the pack at the Zozo Championship last weekend. His play was uneven, and his biggest highlight of the week was the high-profile pairing with Phil Mickelson in the final round rather than his play on the course.

Woods took six questions in the aftermath of his closing 74. Five of them were about Augusta.

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Are you going to make another start before Augusta?

“I’ll make the decision soon. I’m not going to wait around on that decision.”

Can you turn it on when you get to Augusta?

“It’s going to be odd (without fans), but it’s still the Masters.”

Woods also discussed his strategy as he prepares for a Masters unlike any other. Without fans, not only will the roars be absent, but some of his intended target lines will be gone as well.

“On 7 you aim at one spectator and you’re going to cut it to another,” Woods said. “That’s what I’ve done in the past, but there’s going to be no background, no roars. Sometimes we’ve been on the putting green there before we tee off and you hear roars down there 12 and 13, they reverberate all the way up to the clubhouse, and there’s going to be nothing. So that’s one of the things that I’ve been thinking about for the last few weeks is what is that going to be like.”

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And while many things will be different about this iteration of the Masters, the go-to shot of the five-time champion remains the same — a high draw. Being able to work the ball on command is a must at the Masters, but the right-to-left shape has long been the most effective tool for taming Augusta.

“Each and every year same thing, hitting the ball high draws, making sure I can hit a high draw anytime I want,” he said. “That’s always been my game plan ever since I was an amateur, making sure that once I played it for the first time in ’95 that I can get that ball up and turning from right to left.”

A buttery fade might be the easiest shot shape to control, but when it comes to playing well at Augusta, you’ve got to work the ball from right to left. It’s a strategy that worked last year for Woods, and in just two weeks, we’ll get to see if the draw can lead him to a sixth green jacket.

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.