AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods says, for now anyway, that he is planning to play this week within the Masters.
The five-time champion at Augusta Nationwide made the announcement Tuesday morning. He’ll play 9 extra observe holes on Wednesday earlier than making a remaining determination however might be doing so with the intention of taking part in Thursday.
“As of proper now,” Woods stated, “I really feel like I will play.”
There had been loads of alerts in current days that Woods was on the cusp of deciding it was time to play once more. He got here to Augusta Nationwide for a observe spherical final week, then returned Sunday — saying he’d be “a game-time determination” — and Monday for extra. On Tuesday morning, with dangerous climate within the forecast, he spent loads of time within the observe areas.
“It is nice to be again,” Woods stated.
Woods performed in December on the PNC Problem, a 36-hole scramble on a flat Florida course the place he and his son, Charlie, completed second to John Daly and his son. Woods was allowed to make use of a cart in that occasion, and when these rounds have been over, he flatly dismissed any notion that his recreation was tour-ready once more.
“I can not compete towards these guys proper now, no,” Woods stated on Dec. 19. “It will take a number of work to get to the place I really feel like I can compete at these guys and be at a excessive degree.”
About 3½ months later, Woods apparently feels otherwise. If he performs, he’ll be within the Masters for the 24th time; he has completed within the high 5 12 occasions in his earlier 23 appearances.
Thursday’s opening spherical would mark the primary time Woods would compete towards the world’s greatest gamers since Nov. 15, 2020, which was the ultimate spherical of that 12 months’s pandemic-delayed Masters.
He had his fifth again surgical procedure two months later and was nonetheless recovering from that on Feb. 23, 2021, when he crashed his SUV, going over a median on a suburban coastal highway in Los Angeles and down the aspect of a hill.
Woods’ accidents from that crash have been so extreme that medical doctors thought-about proper leg amputation earlier than reassembling the limb by inserting a rod within the tibia and utilizing screws and pins to stabilize further accidents within the ankle and foot.
“It has been a troublesome, robust 12 months … however right here we’re,” Woods stated.