Tiger Woods plans to return to Masters 2022: Five-time champion hopes to play first tournament in 17 months

Tiger Woods plans to triumphantly return to golf as part of the 2022 Masters Course. Woods said this during his official press conference in Augusta National on Tuesday with just two days until the start of the first round – this after several days of training in Augusta, including a trip with his son Charlie and Justin Thomas last week.

“From now on, I feel like I’m going to play. From now on. I’m going to play nine more holes [Wednesday]”Said Woods, who noted that he would then give a final assessment.

Woods looked fit and healthy all week, both on the gym and on the track. Every report – including the report of his colleagues – has been encouraging in terms of the way he has followed the course he has had for the last 25 years.

The hysteria may never have been greater for Woods ’return, and deservedly so given that he hasn’t played at an official event for 17 months and is only 14 months away from a car accident that nearly took his right leg.

Woods had a lot to do this week, which is probably why he said that there would be a “decision on the time of the game” on Sunday, and that he did not commit to Sunday when it comes to the actual event. Not only does Tiger need momentum to be fine, but his back – which has undergone nearly half a dozen surgeries – and his right leg (which has not withstood four rounds of the tournament in almost two years) will have to withstand the most intense pressure possible. imagine.

All this is not to mention the weather forecasts that require cold, wet and windy conditions during the week in Augusta.

“Walking is the hardest part. This is not an easy walk to start with, and given the condition of my foot, it’s even harder,” he said. “Seventy-two holes is a long way. It will be a difficult challenge and a challenge I am ready for.”

The first hint that Woods could return to the Masters came at the end of 2021, when Woods was filmed hitting balls at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, an event he hosts. It was his first public appearance and the first time he had been asked any questions about what happened in February. Throughout the week, he insisted he was far from playing competitive golf again, but videos from the course told the story of someone whose momentum still looked great.

Then we saw that momentum live in December when Woods played the PNC Championship with his son and almost won the tournament. It was a relaxed event on an easy track, but Woods still scored some really side kicks. He was persistent all the time that his return to professional golf was not inevitable.

Tiger deliberately set expectations in the dirt for everyone involved, and now he has skipped them.

Prior to the February 2021 car accident, Woods underwent additional back surgery earlier that year – his first back operation since his spine was joined – so his recovery period has doubled in the last 15 months.

“I am very happy, very happy,” Woods told Genesis Invitational in February. “As many of you know, I didn’t know if I would have a right leg or not. So, to be able to have my right leg still here is huge. I still have a lot of problems with but it’s mine, and I’m very grateful for that. Thank you to all the surgeons, doctors and nurses who are, to all the countless surgeries we have gone through and the countless rehabilitations and PT sessions are brutal, but it is still mine and I am very grateful for that. “

There are little chances that Tiger will be competitive at this year’s Masters – he recently said that he has to work on building until that victory in 2019 – but he is wise and smart enough in Augusta to make a cut and play the weekend. It would be a real turnaround for someone we barely saw in 2021.

It would also not be unusual for Woods in Augusta. In 21 events as a professional, he made all 21 cuts, finished among the top 10 14 times and won five green jackets, the last of which coincided with his last April trip in August 2019 when he beat Dustin Johnson, Xander Schaufel and Brooks Koepk for 15th and last major championship in his career.

It’s a different challenge, but my back surgeries that I had before and the things I had to play through – even when I came back to the US Open when I was a little caught – are all the times I can rely on where I was successful where I blocked things and focused on what I needed to focus on, “he said.

Woods insists his mind is focused on winning this week, not just appearing.

“I like to compete. “If I feel I can compete at the highest level, I will,” Woods said on Tuesday. “… I don’t show up for an event unless I think I can beat it. There will be days when it won’t happen, and I’ll know when it will be.”

As such, Tiger, who will reach the number 1 tee box on Thursday, will be pleased to see a celebratory moment for both him and the sport.

Watch all four rounds of the 2022 Masters starting on Thursday Masters Live as we follow the best golfers in the world across Augusta National with Featured Groups, sign up for the famous Amen Corner and see the leaders around holes 15 and 16. Watch live on CBSSports.com, the CBS Sports app and Paramount +.

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