AUGUSTA, GA. – Tiger Woods set a record with his 24th consecutive made cut at the Masters, then faltered on the weekend, shooting an amateurish 82 on Saturday.

That performance would make this a good time for Woods to retire from the PGA Tour. His body won't hold up for four competitive rounds, he rarely plays anymore and his latest Masters record will likely last forever.

Why would he limp around difficult golf courses, finishing back in the pack?

He might have provided a nonverbal answer this weekend.

After shooting that 82, he could have bowed out, claiming that his back, knees, ankles or hips wouldn't allow him to play. No one would have blamed him.

So what did the fiercest competitor in the recent history of golf do?

He put on his Sunday best — red shirt, black pants, competitive scowl — and showed up on Sunday morning to work on the range with his son, Charlie, who held training aids as Tiger swung.

The most prominent debate in Augusta National's lavish media center this weekend was not about contenders but about Woods' future. The consensus among my peers seems to be that he should fade away and play a ceremonial role only.

I disagree, in part because of a conversation I had with Twins manager Tom Kelly decades ago. One of the players who helped him win two World Series was mulling retirement and asked Kelly's advice — which was, "If they'll let you play, why wouldn't you play?"

Woods knows the end is near, but why rush toward it? Why not play, if you can still play?

A reminder: He made the cut. On Thursday and Friday, often in difficult conditions, he outperformed these renowned players: Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland, Wyndham Clark, Jordan Spieth, Brian Harman, Sungjae Im, Sam Burns and Dustin Johnson.

Woods faded over the weekend, but how did he damage himself, the tournament or golf itself?

He didn't.

He gave the patrons on-site someone interesting to watch.

Let's face it: Golf can be boring, and most golfers are intentionally boring. Watching Woods make a birdie or a double bogey is inherently more interesting than watching most golfers do anything.

Plus, this is the unpredictable world of sports. Nobody thought Jack Nicklaus would win the Masters at 46 or that Woods, with all of his injuries, would win it at 43.

Are we sure he'll never contend again at a major?

The Masters is particularly difficult for him because of the drastic elevation changes. Walking Augusta National from the championship tees is like hiking on ski slopes.

There are other courses that would be kinder to his body — such as Pinehurst No. 2, the site of the U.S. Open, or just about any course that holds the British Open.

Why do we feel the urgency to push older athletes out of sight?

An earlier generation of sports fans pretended to be scarred by the sight of Willie Mays looking feeble in a Mets uniform. Are we so sensitive that one such snapshot obscures the greatness of one of the 10 best players in baseball history? If Mays had used a walker to get around center field, that would not have diminished his accomplishments.

Woods isn't and never will again be what he once was. He doesn't need to be. Even as he approaches 50 and limps around a couple of golf courses a year, Woods remains one of the most interesting figures in all of sports.

He still draws large galleries, still inspires awe among fans.

If you'd like to see him disappear because of his off-course misbehavior, well, he didn't sell out his country to take Saudi money, and that's something.

Greats of the game hitting a ceremonial shot on Thursday morning is celebrated, yet Woods gritting his teeth to make the cut and finish the tournament is frowned upon? Why? You wanted to see Lee Hodges play instead?