Tiger Woods announced on Sunday that he is continuing to prepare for the 2022 Masters, with his participation in the tournament ultimately a “game decision”. Woods, who was involved in a horrific car wreck in February 2021, is aiming to play his first official event since November 2020, when he last competed in a delayed Masters amid the COVID pandemic. -19.
Woods recently indicated that he was grateful to have all of his limbs intact. Now he may be playing at the Augusta National for the 24th time in his amazing career.
“I’ll head to Augusta [Sunday] to continue my preparation and my practice. It will be a decision at game time whether I compete,” he wrote in a tweet.
Woods practiced at Augusta National earlier this week with his son, Charlie, and Justin Thomas. The aim was to test his health with the aim of contesting the Masters, but he apparently came back from that practice not knowing if he could make it in the main event on Thursday.
There is a lot to do. Not only does Tiger need his swing in order, but his back – which has had nearly half a dozen surgeries – and a right leg that hasn’t endured four tournament rounds in nearly two years. will have to hold up under the most intense pressure imaginable.
The first hint that this could happen came in late 2021 when Woods was filmed hitting balls at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he was hosting the event. It was his first public appearance and the first time he was asked about what happened in February. Throughout that week, he insisted he was a long way from playing competitive golf again, but videos from the driving range told the story of someone whose swing still looked great.
Then we saw it live in December when Woods played for the PNC Championship with his son and nearly won the tournament. It was a casual event on an easy golf course, but Woods still landed some truly stunning shots.
Throughout, he was adamant that his return to professional golf was not imminent. Tiger deliberately set expectations in the dirt for everyone involved, and now he’s busted them.
Before the car accident Woods had in February 2021, he underwent additional back surgery earlier this year – his first back surgery after his spine was fused – so his recovery period has been doubly difficult over the past 15 months. .
“I’m very lucky, very lucky,” Woods said in February at the Genesis Invitational. “As many of you know, I didn’t know if I was going to have my right leg or not. So to be able to have my right leg still there is huge. I still have a lot of issues with it but it is mine, and I’m very grateful for that. Thank you to all the surgeons, doctors, and nurses who, for all the countless surgeries we’ve had and the countless rehabs and PT sessions are brutal, but it’s still mine and I’m very grateful for that.”
Tiger is unlikely to be competitive at this year’s Masters, even if he plays – he recently said he needs to work to prepare for that win in 2019 – but he is wise enough and smart enough at Augusta National. that making the cut and playing at the weekend is not out of the question. That would be quite a turn of events for someone we’ve barely seen in 2021.
It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Woods in Augusta, either. In 21 events as a professional, he has made all 21 cups, finished in the top 10 an extraordinary 14 times and won five Green Jackets, the most recent of which coincided with his last April trip to Augusta in 2019 when he beat Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka for the 15th major championship of his career.
Because Woods knows he probably won’t be super competitive at this year’s Masters, playing for him represents a change from past returns. He would play because he wants to play, not because he has a realistic chance of winning the golf tournament.
It would actually be fun to see and a celebratory moment for both him and the sport.
Whether or not he plays the Masters, Tiger will be in town for the Champions Dinner, so we’ll definitely see him play on the golf course the first few days of the week before making a final decision on the 86th Masters.