With no mobile phones or tablets, or really any contact with the outside world, the galleries at the Masters exist blissfully in a time capsule. Nowhere does that feel more the case than the farthest reaches of Augusta National, at the grand terrarium that is Amen Corner. There, above the 11th green, is the massive hand-operated scoreboard that keeps thousands updated on the tournament’s machinations.

All of the leaders are listed, and then on the side, there’s a small flip board that displays the total scores of the next players arriving. There are mutters of anticipation whenever that board is changed, and thousands watched Saturday afternoon to see what Tiger Woods was shooting.

Board flip … green number 7 … loud groans.

After Woods set a Masters record by making his 24th consecutive cut—so impressive while having to play 23 holes Friday on his fused right ankle—Augusta’s patrons probably didn’t expect a miracle, but they hoped for progress. That Woods would build on rounds of 73 and 72 with something to give them confidence that he can indeed play 54 and then 72 holes in a fashion that has some semblance to the player who won his fifth Masters only five years ago.

That was not to be. The green numbers just kept getting larger, as did the sighs, and when Woods reached the huge crowd waiting for him at the 18th green, the green numbers had drifted into double digits—11. By shooting 10-over-par 82 to fall to 11 over overall, Woods, in his 99th Masters round, set an unwanted personal mark with his worst score ever at Augusta. His previous highest cards were the pair of 78s he shot on the weekend after making the cut in 2022.

Walking off the 18th, Woods wore a solemn expression. In a very brief post-round interview, the first question asked was about the biggest challenges he faced on sun-splashed, slightly breezy day when red numbers were hard to come by.

“The fact that I was not hitting it very good or putting well,” he said. “I didn’t have a very good warmup session, and I kept it going all day today. Just hit the ball in all the places that I know I shouldn’t hit it.

“And I missed a lot of putts. Easy, makable putts. I missed a lot of them.”

To his point, his putting average was his worst of the week and he had two three-putts after not suffering any in the first two rounds. But he also drove it poorly, finding only five fairways and eight greens in regulation.


Tiger Woods walks down the second hole in front of a massive gallery. Maddie Meyer

Sadly, the result was probably predictable, even if few thought Woods would balloon into the 80s. Entering this Masters, the 48-year-old completed 72 competitive holes in a tournament only three times over three years. That includes the unofficial Hero World Challenge last December. He’d only had six starts total in that span.

Last year, of course, Woods made the Masters cut, but then had to withdraw due to the pain in the right ankle, which was fused the next week. He had hoped for one start a month as this season dawned, but he got sick and had to withdraw at Riviera and didn’t play again before this Masters.

Woods’ limp seemed less pronounced this week, but he also winced noticeably on Saturday when following through on an approach from the pine straw at No. 9.

“Yeah,” he responded when asked if that was a painful swing. “All day” was his answer when queried if there were moments worse than others.

The concern now is how Woods will manage to finish this tournament.

“My team will get me ready,” Woods said. “[The] club has have been awesome. It will be a long night and a long warmup session, but we’ll be ready.”