Augusta, Georgia – Tiger Woods says so far he plans to play this week at the Masters, just over a year after nearly losing his leg in a car crash.
The five-time champion at Augusta National made the announcement Tuesday morning. He will play nine more practice holes on Wednesday before making a final decision, but will do so with the intention of playing on Thursday.
“At this point,” Woods said, “I feel like I’m going to play.”
Woods was asked if he believed he could win this week. “I am,” he said.
“I can beat well,” Woods added. “I don’t regret what I can do physically in terms of golf. That’s it now, walking is the hardest part. For starters, this is a difficult walk. Now, given the condition of my leg, it’s getting a little trickier. And 72 holes is a long way. It will be a difficult challenge and a challenge that I am ready for. “
In recent days there have been many signals that Woods was on the verge of deciding that it was time to play again. Last week, he came to August National for training, then returned on Sunday, saying he would “decide the time of the game” – and on Monday. On Tuesday morning, with a forecast of bad weather, he spent a lot of time in areas of practice.
“It’s great to be back,” Woods said.
Woods played in December at the PNC Challenge, a 36-hole bout on a level playing field in Florida, where he and his son Charlie finished second after John Daly and his son. Woods was allowed to use a wheelchair in this case, and when those rounds ended, he flatly rejected any suggestion that his game was ready to tour again.
“I can’t compete with these guys right now, no,” Woods said Dec. 19. “It will take a lot of work to get to where I feel I can compete with these guys and be at a high level.”
After about 3-1 / 2 months Woods seems to be feeling differently. If he plays, he will be at the Masters for the 24th time; for the previous 23 performances he was in the top five 12 times.
“I love to compete,” Woods said. “I feel that if I can still compete at the highest level, I’m going. And if I feel I can still win, I will play. But if I feel I can’t, you won’t see me here. “
The first round on Thursday will be the first time Woods has competed with the world’s best players since November 15, 2020, which was the last round of the Masters pandemic delayed.
Two months later he underwent his fifth back surgery, and on February 23, 2021, he was still recovering after on February 23, 2021, he crashed his SUV on a suburban coastal road in Los Angeles and down a hill.
Woods’ injuries in the crash were so severe that doctors considered amputating his right leg before assembling the limb by placing the rod in the shin and using screws and pins to stabilize additional injuries to the ankle and foot.
“It’s been a difficult, difficult year … but we’re here,” Woods said.