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Tiger Woods was a bit hesitant when asked if he plans to play the Masters this week, but he sounded hopeful.
“For now I feel like I’m going to play,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
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Woods said he plans to play nine more holes on Wednesday in preparation for Thursday’s first round in what will be his first event against top-level competition since the 2020 Masters.
Woods said he felt like he could win the Masters and the hardest part for him was whether he was going to be able to keep walking the course.
Woods played the PNC Championship in December 2021 and December 2020 alongside his son Charlie.
The 46-year-old golfer announced his determination to play after a practice round on Monday and another on Tuesday morning before his press conference.
Woods has made it clear that his competitive days every weekend are over. He said at Tuesday’s press conference that he wouldn’t prepare to play if he didn’t think he could win.
Woods broke bones in his right leg, needed a rod in his shin to stabilize injuries and needed screws and pins in his ankle after being involved in a car crash in February 2021.
He told Golf Digest in November that he would probably never compete regularly on the PGA Tour again.
“I think something realistic is to play the Tour one day – never full time, never again – but pick and choose, just like Mr. (Ben) Hogan did. Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that,” Woods told Golf Digest. “You train around that, and you prepare for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality. And I understand it, and I accept it.”
Last summer, he was seen practicing his swing and made a few appearances at golf courses and events before taking time out to train at Augusta National. He and his son finished second to Team Daily in the PNC Championship. It was his only competition of any kind since the 2020 Masters.
TIGER WOODS AT THE MASTERS: REMEMBERING THE EXPERTS OF GOLF LEGEND IN AUGUSTA
Woods has made 23 career starts at the Masters, where he finished 14 in the top-10. He donned his first green jacket in 1997 aged 21 and again in a career comeback in 2019 aged 43.
Woods also won the Masters in 2001, 2002 and 2005. He last played in the tournament in 2020. He didn’t play last year as he was recovering from injuries sustained in the car crash.
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The first round of the 86th Masters begins on April 7 and ends on April 10. Hideki Matsuyama is the defending champion.