[PHOTO: Icon Sportswire]

During the brief glimpses we get to see of Tiger Woods actually playing golf these days, it’s quite clear that he still has all the shots. Unfortunately, his body just no longer allows him to have all the shots for all four days, consecutively, in the big-boy events he plays in.

Put Woods on a wide-open range, though, and he’s still a master of his craft. Just ask Collin Morikawa, who got an up close look at the 48-year-old’s wizard-like hands last weekend during a clinic at Woods’ annual Tiger Jam event in Las Vegas. He can still leave the world’s best in awe with his shot-making ability.

“He [Woods] was making fun of me not being able to hit a draw, so I hit a draw, it was like a five-yard draw,” Morikawa said. “And then he hit a hook and I swear he was aiming like three feet from the line of people that were on the right side. The skill and the feel is still all there, right?

“But you add that over time, over 18 holes, over a course of 72 holes, the entire week of prep, look, the guy’s been through a lot. I’m very lucky to have that opportunity to go and do something like that, to talk to him, to hang out, because you go back and you look at your 15-year-old self, your 10-year-old self and you say, yeah, you’re going to go spend a few hours with Tiger playing poker, hitting golf balls on the range, picking his brain, screwing around, like, that’s – you know, that’s a dream, right? So that’s pretty cool.”

The working theory is that if Woods were able to just take a cart, he could probably still hang even with a broken down body. It’s the walking that has proved most difficult for the 15-time major champion since his latest accident, and if he could just remove that from the equation he could shoot the scores for four days in a row.

Woods has looked good in a cart before, though never in an official PGA Tour event. He’s taken one in both the made-for-TV “The Match” events as well as the PNC Father-Son with his son Charlie, which is a PGA Tour Champions event (the senior tour allows carts with the exception of a few big events). Two years ago, Woods stated that walking is “an integral part of the game at our level” and that he would “never take a golf cart until it’s sanctioned”.

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Of course, Woods could apply for an ADA exception (Americans with Disabilities Act) much like John Daly successfully did at the 2019 PGA Championship, making him the second golfer, after Casey Martin, Woods’ former Stanford University teammate, to ride a cart in a major.

Morikawa says we shouldn’t expect to see Woods become the third any time soon.

“His ego’s pretty big, you know, as is all of ours. I just think he wants to keep doing it until he can’t, and maybe there’s something about a golf cart that’s just, you know, ain’t it. I would be taking a golf cart if they allowed me. I would love to.”

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Based off his past quotes, Woods disagrees, which is why we’ll see him grinding away on foot yet again next week at Pinehurst No.2, where the USGA granted him a special exemption to play in the 2024 US Open. Woods has long said that the US Open is the ultimate test, and that clearly includes the walking part of it, too.