Tiger Woods says ‘I feel like I’m going to play’ the Masters, a year after nearly losing a leg in a car accident

Tiger Woods says, for now anyway, he plans to play the Masters this week, just over a year after nearly losing a leg in a car accident. .

The five-time Augusta National champion who was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame last month made the announcement Tuesday morning. He will play nine more practice holes on Wednesday before making a final decision, but will do so with the intention of playing Thursday.

” From now on “, Woods said“I feel like I’m going to play.”

Golf Masters
Tiger Woods drops golf balls on the driving range during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 5, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia.

Charlie Riedel/AP

Woods was asked if he thinks he can win this week. “Yes,” he said.

“I can hit it really well,” Woods added. “I have no qualms about what I can do physically from a golf perspective. Now is the hardest part of the walk. It’s not an easy walk to start with. Now, given the state my leg is in, it gets a little bit more difficult. And 72 holes is a long way. It’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m ready for.”

There had been plenty of signals in recent days that Woods was about to decide it was time to play again. He came to Augusta National for a practice round last week, then returned on Sunday – saying it would be “a game decision” – and Monday for more. Tuesday morning, when the bad weather was on the way, he spent a lot of time in the training areas.

“It’s great to be back,” Woods said.

Woods played in December at the PNC Challenge, a 36-hole course on a flat Florida course where he and his son Charlie finished second to John Daly and his son. Woods was allowed to use a cart at this event, and once those rounds were over, he flatly dismissed any notion that his game was ready for the tour again.

“I can’t compete with those guys right now, no,” Woods said Dec. 19. .”

About 3 and a half months later, Woods apparently feels differently. If he plays, he will participate in the Masters for the 24th time. he has finished in the top five 12 times in his previous 23 appearances.

Thursday’s first round would mark the first time Woods has faced the best players in the world since Nov. 15, 2020, which was the final round of that year’s pandemic-delayed Masters.

He underwent his fifth back surgery two months later and was still recovering on February 23, 2021 when he crashed his SUV into a median on a suburban coastal road in Los Angeles and into the side of a hill.

Police said Woods was driving at speeds as fast as 87 miles per hour in an area known for vehicles accidents when it crashed. Woods hurt his right leg and it took a long surgery to stabilize the broken tibia and fibula bones in the leg.

Local police determined the cause of the case but declined to share details publicly, citing privacy concerns.

Woods’ injuries from the accident were so severe that doctors considered amputating his right leg, before reassembling the limb by placing a rod through the tibia and using screws and pins to stabilize the injuries. additional ankle and foot.

“It’s been a tough, tough year…but here we are,” Woods said.

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