Tiger Watch

Masters 2019: Tiger Woods explains why he was chewing gum so much at Augusta National

(Kevin C. Cox)

By Alex Myers
Tiger Woods’ 15th major title was different from the previous 14 for a variety of obvious reasons. It’s his first major win coming from behind after 54 holes, his first major win with a fused back, and his first major win since he’s had two kids. But there was a less obvious reason as well. Although, it was pretty obvious if you watched closely.

Woods’ gum chomping drew attention all week. And although it’s certainly not the first time he’s chewed the sticky stuff during a tournament (We did some digging into this important matter on Friday when Golf Twitter took notice), it’s definitely the first time he’s worked his jaw like that from start to finish.

So why did Tiger do it? Was he looking to “stimulate the front cortex” like Phil Mickelson? Did he do it to stay calm under pressure? Is he hooked on Bubblicious (Don’t laugh, I had a nasty habit once)? Or did caddie Joe LaCava just keep forgetting to pack pimento cheese sandwiches in his golf bag? Turns out, the answer was none of the above.

“Well, I’m chomping on this gum because I usually get hungry, I keep eating so much,” Woods explained. “And it curbs my appetite a little bit, which is nice.”

OK then. Savvy move. I do that sometimes at night to keep from snacking. And for the record, Woods wasn’t chewing any gum at his winning press conference. We’re guessing that wouldn’t have gone over well with Augusta National’s members.

Anyway, from fist pumps to wearing Sunday red, other golfers have been copying this guy for more than two decades. In other words, you can count on seeing a lot more masticating on the course when you play this season.


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