Tiger Woods plans to pull it off at the Masters on Thursday, gunning for a record-breaking sixth green jacket that will be the most miraculous resurgence of a career involved in an epic comeback.
Woods last played 17 months ago, at the Epidemic-Delayed 2020 Masters.
His lower right leg was knitted together with a stable rod and screw insert “hardware” after he suffered a devastating injury in a single car accident in February 2021.
Woods spent three months in a hospital bed, spending more time in a wheelchair before graduating from crutches, and now thinks he can not only walk the 7,510-yard Augusta National Course for four rounds, but also give himself a chance to match Jack Nicholas. Record of six Masters titles.
“I do,” Woods said when asked directly if he could win.
Through years of injuries and returns, Woods has always said that he would not enter a tournament he did not think he could win.
He won the 2008 US Open with a broken leg and torn knee ligament. That would be more than a decade, and after five back surgeries, before winning his next major title at the 2019 Masters, his career number rose to 15.
“You know, 72 holes is a long road, and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge I’m ready for,” Woods said.
“I don’t have to worry about ball striking or playing golf. It’s going to be a challenge, it’s going to be a big marathon challenge. “
Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama is in the fitness race. Rory McIlroy is still chasing the Masters title which will complete his career Grand Slam.
Scottie Scheffler came in as the first major of the year as a new world number one. But Spain’s second-ranked John Rahm is one of five players who could overtake Sheffler from his perch.
Others include British Open champion Colin Marikawa, US PGA FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantley, rising Norwegian star Victor Howland and Aussie Cameron Smith – who were runners-up to Dustin Johnson in August 1960 and scored four rounds in the 60’s.
Contestants have been welcomed through significant changes to several holes in the Iconic Georgia course this year.
But 25 years after the beginning of a new era in golf in 1997, every story faded compared to Woods and his bid to claim another Masters title.
From the moment Woods played in the practice round of the Augusta National last week, speculation has spread.
Fans and pundits have scrutinized his every move: his swing, his demeanor, his demeanor, and even his shoes যা not that of longtime patron Nike but that of rival brand Footjoy, which Woods says provides the support he now needs.
Nike, he added quickly, is working to create a product that will suit his new needs.
I am going to Augusta today to continue my preparation and practice. Whether I will compete will be decided during the game. Congratulations to 16-year-old Anna Davis for an amazing win @ Anwagolf And good luck to all the kids Drivechipput.
– Tiger Woods (Tigerwoods) April 3, 2022
Woods’ tweet on Sunday that it would be a “game-time decision” whether he played or not was only served to excite fans.
Those who got practice-round tickets flocked to see him.
“It was good to feel the energy again,” Woods said.
“Really great,” Woods friend Justin Thomas told of the huge crowd following their practice round.
“I think something like this will help him get through the week and be able to eat that energy, use adrenaline. It’s definitely going to be helpful. “
Woods’ final preparations on Wednesday could be affected by Tuesday’s storm.
But the prediction of tournament days is largely correct, and the Augusta National course will provide a perfect platform for the relentlessly maintained Woods drama.
“I think being able to bring myself here is a success,” Woods said. “Now the focus is on how I can get myself to where I am in the Back Nine on Sunday with a chance.”
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