Tiger Woods wants to play at the Masters.
Of course he does. Many of his signature moments took place at Augusta National, including his first major tournament victory 25 years ago and his 15th major championship, following five major back surgeries, two years ago.
Still, the idea of Woods taking part in the event next week, less than 14 months after the horrific car accident that nearly cost him a leg, if not his life, seems unlikely.
But he appears to be doing everything he can in an attempt to make that happen.
According to multiple media reports, Woods flew to Augusta, Ga., on his private jet Tuesday, nine days before the start of the 2022 Masters, and took part in a practice round. Sports Illustrated reports Woods played in a group that included his 13-year-old son Charlie and former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas.
Possibly the biggest challenge for Woods would be six days of walking the hilly course at Augusta on a right leg that was surgically repaired for fractures suffered in the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula bones when he crashed his SUV in Rolling Hills Estates on Feb. 23, 2021.
He has yet to return to competitive golf, although he and Charlie took part in the two-day PNC Championship in December. That event, however, allows its participants to use a golf cart.
Just last month Woods told reporters he had no idea when he’d be able to compete again, saying things like, “I’m still working on the walking part,” and, “My golf activity has been very limited.”
“I was in a cart at the PNC,” he said. “I can play weekend warrior golf — that’s easy. But to be able to be out here and play six rounds of golf, a practice round, pro-am, four competitive days … it’s the cumulative effect of all that. I’m not able to do that yet.”
But speculation of a possible comeback attempt at Augusta has been building, with the recent sight of Woods practicing at his home course, Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla., conjuring memories of him winning the 2008 U.S. Open on a broken leg with a torn ACL.
Plus, Woods is still listed on the online Masters participants page. That doesn’t necessarily mean he plans to play — it just means that at this point he hasn’t informed anyone otherwise.
Tuesday’s reported activities seem to indicate that, at the very least, he hasn’t decided yet.