Tiger Woods during a practice session.© AFP
Tiger Woods is set to play the 86th Masters starting Thursday at Augusta National, making an incredible return to competition 14 months after sustaining a serious injury to his right leg in a car accident. “From now on I’m going to play,” Woods said. The 15-time major champion plans to play a nine-hole practice round on Wednesday and will make a final decision after watching his body recover from that effort.
“It’s a matter of how my body will recover and what my body can do the next day,” said Woods, who has played nine holes of practice rounds over the past two days.
Woods said he thinks he can win a sixth Masters title this week to match Jack Nicklaus’ record, despite not having played since the 2020 Masters, which were played in November of that year due to Covid-19.
“I can hit it just fine,” Woods said. “I have no problem with what I can play golf. Walking is the hardest part.”
Woods was hospitalized for weeks and unable to walk for months after a car accident in February 2021. He later said he was lucky to have survived and escape with both legs.
“That was a tough road,” Woods said. “To say that I would play here… I would have said very unlikely.”
Woods plans to kick off his 24th Masters. The 46-year-old American star tested his ability to run the hilly course last week and noted that an epic comeback was possible.
On Sunday, Woods tweeted that it would be a “game-time decision” whether or not to play this week.
Woods tested himself with practice rounds on Sunday and Monday, the latter in front of thousands of supportive fans in the first full spectator session at Augusta National since 2019, when Woods won an astonishing title to make a comeback from spinal fusion surgery.
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