On The Prowl? Tiger Arriving At Masters, Unsure Of Playing
The Masters does not have a firm deadline to commit like regular tour events.
A comeback unlike any other for Tiger Woods might start at the Masters.
Just over 13 months since Woods damaged his right leg so badly he said doctors considered amputation, he tweeted he was headed to Augusta National on Sunday without yet deciding whether to play.
"I will be heading up to Augusta today to continue my preparation and practice. It will be a game-time decision on whether I compete," Woods wrote.
The Masters does not have a firm deadline to commit like regular tour events. It is an invitation tournament, and players typically notify the club only if they do not plan to play.
Tee times are published Tuesday.
If Woods decides to play — he played 18 holes at Augusta National five days ago — it would be his first competition against the world's best players since Nov. 15, 2020, when the Masters was moved to autumn because of the pandemic.
Woods was recovering from a fifth back surgery in early 2021 when on Feb. 23, two days after he presented the trophy at the Genesis Invitational that he hosts at Riviera, he crashed his SUV over a median on a suburban coastal road in Los Angeles and the car tumbled down the side of a hill.
Police estimated he was going at least 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.
Doctors said Woods shattered tibia and fibula bones in his right leg in multiple locations. Those were stabilized by a rod in the tibia, while a combination of screws and pins were used to stabilize additional injuries in the ankle and foot.
Woods said he spent three months immobilized in a makeshift hospital bed set up in his Florida home. Only then he could start moving around on crutches, and eventually he was able to walk on his own.
Woods won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 with a double stress fracture and torn knee ligaments in his left leg. He made it back from a scandal in his personal life to become No. 1 in the world again.
Nothing was more amazing than three years ago at Augusta National when he won a fifth green jacket after four back surgeries that made him fear he might never walk again.
That he is even contemplating playing in this Masters is remarkable in its own right. If he can, questions are sure to shift to whether he can win.
A week before Thanksgiving, he posted a three-second video hitting one shot with two words: Making progress. Two weeks later at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, a holiday event Woods hosts, he was on the back end of the range at Albany hitting drivers.
The first big surprise came two weeks later when he played the PNC Challenge, a 36-hole scramble on a flat Florida course. Woods was allowed to ride in a cart, a point he made when there were gushing observations about the state of his game. He and his son finished second when John Daly and his son birdied the last hole.
"It's going to take a lot of work to get to where I feel I can complete against these guys and be at a high level," Woods said that day.
Addressing the condition of his right leg in February, Woods said it's "altered" and that "my right leg doesn't look like my left, put it that way."
The importance of the practice round last week was for Woods to make sure he could walk 18 holes on the undulating terrain of Augusta National and still be able to recover in the days that followed. That he was returning Sunday was a good sign.
Can he win again? That would be considered more improbable than his last Masters victory.
Woods has played the Masters 21 times as a pro, and it's the only major where he has never missed the cut.
In his last competitive round at Augusta National, he made the highest score of his career -- a 10 on the par-3 12th hole by hitting three balls in Rae's Creek -- only to birdie five of the last six, including the last four in a row.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
Masters Golf Tournament Invitation Goes To The Wrong Scott Stallings
Professional golfer Scott Stallings had been waiting for his invitation to arrive when the other Scott Stallings alerted him to the mail mix-up.
Kathy Whitworth, Winningest Golfer In History, Dies At 83
Whitworth's LPGA Tour victories spanned nearly a quarter-century, and she became the first woman to earn $1 million for her career on the LPGA.
9/11 Families Outraged Over Trump Golf Club Hosting Saudi Tournament
The Saudi government has denied any involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks. But the family members said Trump blamed the Saudis in an interview.
Migrants fearing deportation set fatal fire, Mexican president says
Officials confirmed more than three dozen people died in the fire.
Remote fitness classes are helping seniors in rural areas in U.S.
Due to the pandemic, a lot of health classes transitioned from in-person to remote delivery, improving access to better health outcomes.
Using improv comedy to gain new social and creative skills
Employees across the U.S. are using improv comedy as a tool for increasing their confidence and becoming more extroverted.