December 10, 2022

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Tiger Woods says he intends to play for the Masters

Tiger Woods says he intends to play for the Masters



CNN

“From now on I feel like I’m going to play” in the Masters – and he thinks he can win it, Tiger Woods says.

“I have no qualms about what I can do physically from a golf point of view,” he said Tuesday at a press conference. On the 25th anniversary of his historic victory in the 1997 Masters Championshipin response to a question about whether he could win the championship.

Woods is scheduled to go into the first round of the 2022 Masters in Augusta, Georgia, at 10:34 a.m. ET Thursday morning.

The 15-time main champ has been away from competitive golf for more than a year, after sustaining a serious leg injury in a car crash in February 2021.

“As of now, I feel like I’m going to play,” Woods said, ending weeks of speculation. “As of now.”

Woods, 46, was seen playing a few practice rounds at Augusta National, including Monday’s, sparking rumors of his return.

“You worked really hard,” Woods said. “My team has been incredible. I have been fortunate to have wonderful surgeons, doctors and physiologists who work with me almost every day. And we have worked hard to get to this point… It has been a tough, tough year.”

Woods is teamed up with Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Joaquin Neiman of Chile. They are scheduled to play Round Two at 1:41 p.m. ET on Friday.

His dramatic comeback comes 25 years after he won the 1997 Masters, the first of his 15 tournaments. Woods was only 21 years old when he changed the game – and his life – by becoming the first non-white golfer to win the sport’s most prestigious tournament.

“It’s hard to believe that 25 years have passed,” Woods said.

“It’s great to be back and to be able to feel the energy and excitement of the patrons again.”

“Very, very grateful,” Woods said when asked by CNN’s Patrick Snell what words he would choose to think of the last 14 months.

“Just thankful for everyone’s support. Everyone involved in the work I do every day. The people I work with, my entire team… All the support from the players who are here.”

Getting this far, he said, was a success in itself.

“Now it’s all focused on how to get myself into position as I’m a ninth full-back on Sunday with a chance” to win again, Woods added.

“When I decide to suspend it, when I feel like I can’t win anymore, that will be the case,” he said. “But I feel like I can still do it, and I feel like I still have my hands to do it, and the body moves well enough.”

One of his playing partners seemed certain of what would happen on Thursday.

“It’s not shocking because he’s the greatest player to ever play,” Fred Kopels told reporters before Woods’ announcement.

“If he can walk around here in 72 holes, he will argue. He is too good.”

2021 FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay says Woods’ return is golf’s “greatest.”

“It’s a good example that life isn’t always perfect, and so it’s really exciting to see it at its highest,” he told the media.

“So I hope he will be able to play well this week and that is obviously the greatest thing for our sport. There is definitely a different feeling in the tournaments he is in.”

In the car accident last year in Los Angeles, Woods suffered open comminuted fractures that affected his right bones and his fibula, the two long bones just below the knee.

Woods walks into the second green during a practice round for the Masters Golf Championship on Monday, April 4, 2022 in Augusta.

he is I acknowledge In February of this year, he was frustrated with his recovery and admitted he would never be able to play the full PGA Tour schedule again.

The one who knows a thing or two about coming back from serious injuries is four-time winner Brooks Koepka.

The 31-year-old has had to put up with his share of injury concerns, and has lost quite a bit of time in recent years due to recovery from surgery and rehabilitation.

Koepka, who came to the 2022 Masters as one of the favorites to win the green jacket, said he understood what Woods might be going through.

“I was fairly spot on trying last year two weeks after surgery. This place is not just an easy walk,” he told the media. “I understand what he’s up to. It will be difficult. But if anyone can do that, it’s him.”

Kupka added, “I’m glad he’s getting healthier and able to play golf… We need him, the game needs him, everyone needs him, the fans need him, and all of these things. But at the end of the day, everyone here is just competing. I’m worried about myself and I’m sure everyone else is worried about themselves.”

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