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Do you expect to contend here for this week, in years to come, or are you past that point where it's annual we possibly expect to contend?


Yes, I do.


That's Tiger Woods on the Tuesday ahead of the 20 20 Masters. He's at a press conference talking about finally competing in the postponed tournament.


Tiger was defending his title, but by the final round, he wasn't in contention. It was someone else's turn to win.


If he makes, it would be the lowest total in relation to par in major history, 21 under. But why make it in 2020 when you can finish right on that number? Yeah. In the 2020 Masters, the long awaited Masters has a long awaited champion in Dustin Johnson. Dustin Johnson won the 2020 Masters with a record setting score, he finished 20 under par, besting a record which was held by Tiger and another player, Jordan Spieth, after 19 months as the reigning Masters champion.


It was time for Tiger to pass along the green jacket in the ceremony at Butler.


Captain Tiger, your victory last year was one of the most memorable and emotional moments in the history of this tournament. And I just want to tell you, we're so pleased that you're now wearing that green jacket for the fifth time. Congratulations. And we'd be honored if you would place the green jacket on, Dustin. Absolutely. Just asking. While many of Augusta's well-known traditions were in place this year, the Masters was unlike any masters before there were no blooming azaleas, daylight was limited and most notably, there were no patrons.


All of these conditions affected the players, including Tiger.


I'm Jordan Bell and I'm approaching and this is a special bonus episode of all-American from Stitcher, the Twenty 20 Masters. And to help us recap today, we're checking in with someone who knows golf and Tiger pretty well.


My name is Bo Van Pelt. Forty five years old, live in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Married my wife Carrie. Twenty one years, got three kids, play college, golf, local and state, turned pro in nineteen ninety eight. Been doing that since since then so it's got a little bit about me.


Bo Van Pelt is a professional golfer with a long career. He's been ranked in the top 20 in the world.


He ends with a four in a 64 four vote winner once again on the PGA Tour, and he's even gone head to head against Tiger like in 2012 at the AT&T National in Maryland. During part of that tournament, weather conditions prevented fans from attending.


You know, I told him, I said, this must be weird for you, but this is this is a typical crowd. I was like, I feel this is my wheelhouse. Look so really comfortable. He got a good laugh out of that.


Bo also co-hosts a podcast with friend of the show for Elevons. It's called Both Sides of the Ball.


We gave Bo a call to talk about the Bo Van Pelt size crowds at Augusta Tiger's performance and what it tells us about Tiger going forward.


So, Albert, there was really no reason to be excited or optimistic about Tiger's chances this weekend, given that he hadn't finished in the top 20 of an event since January of this year.


But Tiger made a run on Thursday and Friday, and the golf world and the sports world just went pretty crazy.


So Tiger Woods had a great first round at the Masters. I root for Tiger now. I'm not going to lie. I love that. Tiger, once again is in contention. I saw somebody yesterday. Can he do it for four days? I don't know. Give me three and a half. I'll be happy. He wanted a couple of years ago, but on Saturday and Sunday, Tiger wasn't able to keep up.


He ended up tied for third place and finished the tournament at one under par. And what a finish for Tiger Woods, a 10 back at the 12th hole, but he responds by putting on a clinic down the stretch. He birdies five of his final six holes and finishes the tournament under par at minus one. Bo, thanks for joining us today. So what did you think of Tiger's performance? Well, I thought, you know, there were so many question marks coming into Tiger in the 20, 20 Masters.


You know, we just haven't seen him play that much. And I think everybody didn't know what to expect. The weather could be a factor. Is it going to be cold? Was back hold up. And I thought I thought he played well overall. Obviously, the first round was a really good round for him. No bogeys for under historically. I think even his greatest successes he's had there, his opening rounds haven't been really great. And so I think that was exciting for everybody to see him play that well.


Obviously had the 10 on Sunday and then and came back and what a great finish to make. Five birdies in the last six holes was was fantastic.


Right. So and one of the big things missing from this tournament was the crowds. You know, watching the tournament, you could definitely see so much more of the course.


And it was just starkly quieter than a normal tournament.


Do you have any sense for how that affected players?


Well, I definitely think just the buzz in a normal PGA Tour event creates some energy level for the players in Augusta especially. It just creates this atmosphere that's fun to play in because it's unlike any other tournament, you know, it's known for that vibe. And so I was like you. I thought it was eerily quiet as you were watching the golf over the weekend at the Masters. I can only imagine as a player, it would have been really weird to just be out there playing and like hearing nothing.


There was a few fans and it seemed like some of the volunteers were clapping something to make a public, knowing what that place can sound like and then playing it basically in silence would definitely be weird.


Do you think it is an advantage to some players and maybe a disadvantage to certain players?


Well, I think, you know, to me, I think when a guy is in a groove like Dustin was the ability, his ability to stay calm, he's a pretty even keeled guy, I think not having the crowds, because sometimes as well as he was playing the crowds can get you amped up to where you can get going faster. Maybe your mind starts racing a little bit in your swing, your tempo gets off a little bit. And so my guess is for a guy like him who's even keeled that quiet, you know, the quiet atmosphere probably helped him out because he could just kind of maybe stay in that frame of mind a little bit and and stay in that rhythm that he had over the weekend, which was just phenomenal.


And then for guys trying to catch him, I think it probably hurt them a little bit because sometimes you feed off that energy, hey, can I get off to a good start? Can I make a couple of birdies? Can I make an eagle on to the crowd gets going behind me because I remember one year that I played Augusta, the Masters Tiger got off to a really good start and I was one or two groups behind him. And the energy level on the course, you just wanted to be part of that.


So it it definitely could get you if you were going in the right direction, you know, and maybe it's a placebo effect or not. But it felt like it was pushing you along and maybe helping you make another birdie or two and just trying to maybe be more aggressive to that point.


I mean, do you think like a player like Tiger feeds off of that energy? Oh, I think there's a question. When you look at the crowds, he's had his whole career with the interest level and just the stardom that he's had. There's no question that he's enjoyed that, enjoyed the energy level of those crowds. I mean, some of his reactions and his problems. I mean, how could that not help him know? I think he that was just part of his daily routine.


And part of him playing golf was probably female, that energy level and and his concentration level and just being in that arena.


So Tiger's first round was about as good as any opening round.


He's played in a major. How did it feel watching that?


Well, it was just great to see. You know, I think we've all of us that I've played with him know what a great iron player he is. And just to see the control he had over the golf ball with with shape in his arms to some of those PIN locations was, you know, that's what he does. And that's that's just another part of his game. It's set him apart. And so that was really fun to see, because like I said earlier, there was just so many question marks.


You just because you can practice at home and you feel like you're hitting a good it's another thing to play on a Thursday morning when they hand you that scorecard and see what's actually going to be like when it counts, when the light goes on.


So fast forward to Saturday. Tiger had to play a total of twenty six holes and he finished. He finished up his second round and then went on to play his third round. And so Bo. How much of a disadvantage is it to play that many holes in one day and, you know, in the colder weather on top of that, particularly for a player like Tiger who's had back issues, how much of a challenge is that for for him right now?


Having would, like you said, with the back surgeries and having to play when the. Well, the ball's not going very far on the morning. He would definitely like to be on the other side of that way. There's no question about it. You know, to be able to get the get his round in and not have to play as many holes in one day because it is a challenge. It's one thing if you are playing well and you finish up the second round, then you're like, shoot, man, I want to keep playing.


I want to get as many holes in as I can if the weather conditions are good. But I don't think there's any question. You know, if you gave him some truth serum and said, hey, look, would you like to play eighteen or twenty six? He's like, I like to play 18 and tee off about 10, not at seven o'clock in the morning. You know, there's there's no question about that.


We'll be back after this short break. If you're looking for a better tomorrow, start heading for it today at Toyota. We started to look ahead over 20 years ago when we built our first self charging hybrid electric cars. Now, Toyota hybrid drivers are reducing harmful emissions and making a real difference, thanks to them. The best selling car in Ireland today is a Toyota hybrid. And as more drivers join us, we'll all have to shape a brighter future together.


Toyota built for a better world. So the 12th hole at Augusta in 2019 is really where things turned around for Tiger to be able to win the tournament last year. However, on the 12th hole this year, things sort of went south for Tiger. I'm going to play a little clip.


So the third for Tiger, that's got needs to stay. Oh, boy. Wow. Two in the water for Tiger at 12. But can you just tell us what's it like to play that hole? The wind can be really tricky there. I'll play with Luke Donald. I think it was 2011 and a chance to win the tournament and called the wind wrong. It was kind of in between clubs and, you know, ended up in the golf ball, in the water and kind of ruined his chances there for the tournament.


So it can happen. You know, it's it's close deals where there's a lot of par threes where you can be just a little off. And, hey, you miss the green. It's not a big deal. You can get the ball up and down. Seems like if you hit one bad shot them, they're very rarely. Do you see a guy come right back and hit the next one close and make bogey like it just it seems like usually one ball in the water there usually equals you're making double bogey or unfortunately.


So then just watching Tiger struggle in that moment and it was just hard to watch. But as a player who's sort of been there and been in that kind of situation, I mean, what what was it like watching Tiger struggle in that moment?


Well, I think all of us are like we've all been there. I like you play this game long enough. It's going to happen, right? You're going to I tell people and I tell young players, I'm like, look, you're going to win one. You're going to shank one, you're going to double digit chip. You're going to hit three balls in the water. Like you play this game long enough, you're going to do it all good, bad, indifferent.


And he's no different, right? Like, it's just you play that holds enough time and your focus is a little off or whatever. And all of a sudden, you know, you, you know, he's mad enough to get one ball in the water. Then you blow it over the green, that bucket, and you get back to that line. You're like, well, now what do I do? I like that now, you know?


But then you're like, well, shoot, I'm going to try to hit a shot. I'm not going to just bail out over here to the left side of the green and do this. So then it just well, now you hit the next in the water. Right now you got to go on the other side. You know, they're just it's a snowball effect. But as a player, you when you see you guys struggle, you have total empathy for him because you're like we've all been there, right.


Like and you just hope it's not with the tournament on the line. I guess that's the that was a good thing. Like he wasn't trying to win the golf tournament and make a ten there.


It was kind of happened when it wasn't a factor after that disappointing 12th hole. I mean, Tiger ended up birdwing five of the last six holes to finish under par for the day. And I mean, what does that tell you about Tiger's motivation even now at this point in his career?


Well, I think it just shows you he's a he's a consummate professional. I saw I saw a tweet I want to say it was how sudden it was. It was an older former player complimented him on that and just said, you know, to all his young fans there, what a great example for young junior golfers to see a guy make it. Ten have a disappointing hole, but didn't just pack it in. Right. He could have packed it in and, you know, shot even par won over.


But, you know, he he didn't take that finish for granted and worked his butt off and finish like a pro.. And so my hat's off to him for just the example that he set for everybody who was watching him, especially the young people, to say, look, we're all going to have adversity, we're all going to have bad holes. You can't avoid that. But you can control kind of how you react to it.


Do you feel like we learned anything new about Tiger's golf game at the Masters or his chances of winning another major going forward?


Well, I think yes and no. I mean, to me, I think the questions were answered as fact is he's still got some good golf in him, you know, I mean, I think he had enough really good shots, especially around like the first round there and then the finish on Sunday. The question is, you know.


Is I mean, to me, the question is, is how is his body doing? I mean, I think that's the million dollar question going forward is how is his body going to hold up? How long is he able to practice to get ready for a tournament or when he can play a few tournaments in a row to build towards another major? And I think those are the questions nobody knows the answer to. But I think the one question we know the answer is like, look, if he's healthy, there's still a lot of really good golfer there.


People must ask you pretty often, what is Tiger really like? And I just curious, like what? What's your answer? I mean, it's sort of a different guy on the golf course versus off event, or is he sort of the public sort of perception of him different from the tiger that that you've gotten to know over the years?


Well, I mean, look, there's a bunch of guys out here that know him better than me. All I can say to him about him is he's always been great to me. We've always had fun playing with each other. When we played, we've been paired together. Oklahoma State and Stanford had a really good rivalry when we were both in college. So we know about the same people played against each other a bunch in college and then obviously professionally.


And so, yeah, I think he's just look, he's a competitor. I'm super happy for him. And he won the Masters in twenty with his kids. Seems like he had a ball doing it. Seems like he's really gotten to become close with some of those guys in South Florida, other professionals down there, which I think is great for him. Seems like he's having a ball doing it. And so I would just say, look, man, he's just he's a guy that's worked really hard to get where he's at and he's just the ultimate competitor.




And do you think he's changed the game in ways that we may not kind of like see today? I mean, like in terms of his overall impact? I mean, do you feel like the game is different today because of Tiger? Oh, there's no question. I mean, I think the work ethic out here, you know, as far as like the standard of how hard guys work. On a whole has totally changed with you, look at his approach from a mental standpoint, from physical conditioning.


Just how hard he worked at his game and he raised everybody's level. You know, the reason why they see so many good players now coming out that are twenty, twenty five years old is because they grew up watching him in his prime. And then the standard was set of like, well, if you want to be that good, that's how hard you're going to work, you know, so that that changed, I mean, dramatically just the overall standard of how hard guys work and how good they are by the time they turn pro.




And we kind of saw that high level of play on like over the weekend at the Masters. Right. I mean, just like all this this younger generation, really I mean, it was kind of like right there for us all to see, right? Absolutely.


And it's not smoke and mirrors. I mean, it's it's guys it's a generation of kids that have been so focused on golf and trained the right way. And, you know, golf equipment's gotten better and training regimens have gotten better. But it's like they realize that, hey, that's the standard, right? Like, if you want to play on tour, it's you work out, you eat right. You you train year round. I mean, it's all that stuff, the level.


And it's only going to keep getting better, right? I think so. The question now is like now the kids grown up now are seeing, you know, whether it's Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Matt Wolfe, like even the younger guys go, it's like, well, that's how hard I got to work. Just to have a chance to be out there like that doesn't even mean I'm going to be successful. That's even to be in the conversation, to even have a thought about doing it.


And so 100 percent he's changed. So the compounding effect will be the level will be even higher another 10, 15 years from now.


Well, Bill, thank you so much for your time. Oh, no, thank you. Yeah, it's a fun weekend to just tune in and see Tiger play really well on Thursday and Friday, it was just like really super exciting. And he's just still capable of playing really, really great golf.


Right. But, you know, just maybe Albert, he has another run in him because guess what?


In five months, he'll be back at Augusta again for his twenty fourth masters.


all-American is a production from Stitcher. This episode was written, reported and produced by Albert having a ball chain and me Jordan in the whole Bel. Jeanna Amen. Corner Palmer is our story editor. Abigail Caddy Issues. Cheal is our senior producer. Casey Hole in None. Holford is our mix engineer who also our fantastic theme music. Our executive producers are Daisy Rozario and Chris Bannan, special thanks to Tristan Drew and Corey Nathan. Don't forget to check out both sides of the ball, Bo Van Pelt and Pharrell Evans podcast and subscribe to all American and leave us a review.