Tiger Woods explains exactly why no fans at Masters will make ‘big difference’

Tiger Woods celebrates his 2019 Masters victory.

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The PGA Tour hasn’t had fans on site since March, when the Players Championship was canceled after one round. But now, months later, there’s been a dozen fan-less events on the PGA Tour, and many players are starting to get used to it.

And come November, we’ll also get our first fan-less Masters in the event’s history. That was made official earlier this month. On Wednesday at the BMW Championship outside of Chicago, Tiger Woods explained how the Masters specifically will be different without patrons.

“It’s going to be very different without 40,000 people there. That’s one of the things that we’ve noticed out here on Tour already is that the experience of having to deal with the movement of the crowds and the noise — the roars aren’t going to go up,” Woods said. “Well, week in, week out, that’s changed. Guys are making more birdies because of it, not having to deal with the amount of distractions.”

Woods said when he first played Augusta National in 1995, with no fans there, it was “eye-opening” how much room there was.

“When you put 40,000 people on such a small piece of property — I know there’s no rough, but it gets confined,” he said. “But this will be very different. This will be a fun Masters, and I’m looking forward to defending.”

tiger woods rory mcilroy walk
Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose to play charity match
By: James Colgan

But will having no energy coming from the galleries hurt Woods’ defense?

“It’s going to make a big difference to all of us,” he said. “It has out here week in and week out. We just don’t have the same type of energy, and as I said, the distractions, too, as well. There at Augusta National you just have all those roars that would go up if somebody did something somewhere. So scoreboard watching and trying to figure out what’s going on, there aren’t a lot of big leaderboards out there, so that will be very different.”

The Masters is Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National.

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Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.