Tiger Woods reveals he IS going to play in the Masters this week – and says he thinks he can WIN at Augusta – in a miraculous turnaround just 14 months on from his horrific car crash
- Tiger Woods has revealed he is planning to play at the Masters at Augusta
- Around 60,000 watched Woods play a practice round at Augusta this week
- He has not competed at a top-level event since the Masters in November 2020
- Woods suffered career-threatening injuries in serious car crash last February
- He had surgery in Los Angeles and said amputation was an option at one stage
Tiger Woods believes he is in with a shout of winning at Augusta after he gave the clearest indication yet that he will compete for a sixth Masters title.
Woods did an interview with Masters Radio where he was asked if he is committed to playing this week. He smiled and winked before dragging it out to say he would reveal all in his press conference.
‘It is great to be back and to be able to feel the energy and the excitement again. Hopefully we are going to have a great week,’ he said to open his press conference.
Pressed on whether he has committed to playing, Woods added: ‘As of right now I feel like I am going to play.’
Woods has not featured at a top level event since he was involved in a car crash back in February 2021.
The 46-year-old was recovering from a fifth back operation at the time of the crash in Rolling Hills Estates, on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
He was driving alone in his SUV as he went off-road ‘at a high speed’ following a single-vehicle crash around 7am local time.
Woods’ SUV smashed into a tree and data from his black box later revealed that he was travelling between 84 to 87 miles per hour on a road with a 45mph speed limit.
Extracted from his wrecked car through the windscreen, Woods was transported to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Hospital.
Woods has not played in a top-level event since being involved in a horrific car crash in 2021
The 46-year-old had to be cut from the wreckage after his runaway SUV smashed into a tree
He had suffered ‘significant’ injuries and required urgent surgery on his multiple injuries. Woods later revealed that amputation of his right leg ‘was on the table’ at one stage, so severe were his injuries.
Woods spent three weeks hospitalized before recovering at home in Florida where details of his condition were kept out of the media for a large part of 2021.
The 15-time major champion did say publicly that he felt a full-time return to the professional golf circuit was no longer an option due to the wear on his body after surgeries on open fractures on his lower right leg, his foot and his ankle.
The American raised hope that he was making good headway with his recovery after he competed in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie back in December.
But crucially Woods was allowed to use a cart during the 36-hole event and was allowed to opt not to hit some shots due to the scramble format.
Woods won his first major as a professional by 12 shots in 1997 at the Masters in Augusta
Walking the course has long been the big concern for Woods when he returns to action and in February, despite revealing he could ‘walk on a treadmill all day’, he did go on to add that he had a ‘long way to go’ before being fit enough to take part regularly at events.
He currently holds the record for the most PGA Tour titles, tied with Sam Snead on 82 successes.
His 15 major titles place him three behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors.
Woods has won the Masters five times in his career to date and the Augusta showpiece holds a special place in his heart.
Woods overcame all of his adversities to become a Masters winner once again back in 2019
His first green jacket arrived as a 21-year-old breakout star in 1997 when he dominated the field to win by 12 strokes; it remains a record margin of victory in any major.
Consecutive Masters wins arrived in 2001 and 2002 before a play-off win over Chris DiMarco gave him his fourth Augusta win in 2005.
Woods’ most recent Masters victory arrived in 2019 as he ended his 11-year wait for a major, finishing just a stroke ahead of Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele to claim his fifth green jacket.
Nicklaus has six titles at Augusta National and while improbable it is not impossible that Woods may be motivated to try and match that before he hangs up his clubs.
TIGER WOODS’ RECOVERY TIMELINE TO PLAY THE MASTERS
February 2021 – Suffers career-threatening injuries in a serious single-vehicle car crash in Los Angeles
November 2021 – Footage of Woods hitting a shot with a wedge is posted to his social media accounts
December 8, 2021 – Woods announces he will play the PNC Championship with son Charlie
December 18, 2021 – Woods and his son produce stunning final round but finish second at the tournament in Orlando
February 2022 – Woods admits recovery has been slower than he wanted. ‘I wish I could tell you when I’m playing again,’ he said
March 29, 2022 – Fuels speculation of return after playing practice round at Augusta
April 3, 2022 – Woods practices at Augusta again with less than a week before start of the Masters
April 5, 2022 – Woods reveals in a press conference that he