Tiger Woods says, for now anyway, he plans to play at the Masters this week, just over a year after nearly losing his leg in a car accident.
Five-time champion in Augusta National who was introduced to the Golf Hall of Fame last month he announced on Tuesday morning. He will play nine more training holes on Wednesday before making a final decision, but he will do so with the intention of playing on Thursday.
“From now on,” Woods said“I feel like I’m going to play.”
Woods was asked if he believes he can win this week. “Yes,” he said.
“I can hit it off quite well,” Woods added. “I have no doubts about what I can physically do from a golf standpoint. Now walking is the hardest part. This is not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the condition of my leg, I’m getting a little harder. And 72 holes is a long way. It will be a difficult challenge and a challenge I am ready for. ”
There have been plenty of signals in recent days that Woods is one step away from deciding it’s time to play again. He came to Augusta National for training last week and then returned on Sunday – saying it would be a “match time decision” – and on Monday for more. On Tuesday morning, according to the bad weather forecast, he spent a lot of time in the gym.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” Woods said.
Woods played in the PNC Challenge in December, a 36-hole race on a flat track in Florida where he and his son Charlie finished in second place behind John Daly and his son. Woods was allowed to use the car at the event, and when those rounds were over, he flatly dismissed any idea that his game was ready to tour again.
“I can’t compete against these guys right now, no,” Woods said Dec. 19. “It will take a lot of work to get to a place where I feel I can compete with these guys and be at a high level.”
About 3-1 / 2 months later, Woods obviously feels different. If he plays, he will be at the Masters for the 24th time; he finished among the top five 12 times in his previous 23 appearances.
Thursday’s opening round will be the first time Woods has competed against the world’s best players since November 15, 2020, which was the last round of the Masters that year postponed by the pandemic.
Two months later, he had his fifth back operation and was still recovering from it on February 23, 2021, when he hit his SUV across the middle on a suburban coastal road in Los Angeles and down a hill.
Police said Woods was speeding at 87 miles per hour in an area known for vehicleswhen it crashed. Woods right leg and required lengthy surgery to stabilize the broken bones of the tibia and fibula in the leg.
Local police determined the cause of the cause, but declined to share details publicly, citing privacy concerns.
Woods ’injuries from that collision were so severe that doctors considered amputating his right leg, before reassembling the limb by placing a rod in the tibia and using screws and needles to stabilize additional injuries to the ankle and foot.
“It’s been a tough, tough year … but here we are,” Woods said.