Tiger Woods flew Tuesday to Augusta National, sparking speculation that the Masters next week will be his first competition against the best since his injury in a car accident 14 months ago.
Numerous plane-tracking websites showed that a Gulfstream registered as Woods left South Florida at around 9 a.m. and that the Twitter handle “Eureka Earth”, showed the private Jet landing on Augusta’s regional runway.
SI.com’s Morning Read reported that Woods was in Augusta National with his 12-year-old son Charlie. Woods’ agent at Excel Sports didn’t immediately return a call from The Associated Press requesting comment.
Woods has not publicly stated anything or walked in a manner that suggests he will be available to play his first major (and first PGA Tour event) since November 2020’s Masters.
The Masters began April 7th and speculation started to rise after Phil Mickelson was taken off the list of players who are eligible to compete. Woods was still listed on the active invited player list. His agent, however, said that it was too soon to make a decision.
Players don’t have to commit by a deadline unlike regular tournaments. Woods, a five-time Masters champion, can play every year. Augusta National will decide whether Woods will play. This can be done up until the tournament’s start.
Woods was seen at The Medalist, near his Jupiter Island home, Florida over the weekend. Woods was presumably at Augusta National to test his legs on one of the most difficult walks in golf. Nearly every hole has elevations.
He participated in the December PNC Championship along with his son . They were runner-up in a 36-hole tournament held in Florida, where Woods could ride in a cart. The format was scramble.
“But to be out there and play, let’s call it six rounds, a pro-am, four competition days, it is the cumulative effect all of that. I am not yet able to do this. “I’m still working to get there,” Woods stated six weeks ago at Riviera where he was the host of the Genesis Invitational.
Woods said that he would not return to the game if he didn’t have a timetable and that he was just there to play.
“I must feel confident that I can defeat these guys. I have to feel that way, and that’s why I did the legwork at home. He said, “It’s on me.”
Woods was seen moving slowly but well in his few public appearances such as at Riviera, or when he was Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
In 2019, his last Masters win was the result of four operations on his lower back. It was one of the most impressive comebacks in sport. He won the Zozo Championship, Japan, for his 82nd career PGA Tour championship, tying Sam Snead’s record for the all-time record.
He only played nine games during the 2020 pandemic-shortened season. After undergoing fifth back surgery on February 23, he drove his SUV across a median, and it crashed down a hillside in Los Angeles’ coastal suburbs.
Doctors stated that he had broken the fibula and tibia bones of his right leg at multiple places. These were stabilized with a rod in his tibia. Additional injuries to the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of pins and screws.
Woods stated that amputation was once discussed.
The field does not change if he decides to play at Augusta National. The Masters is an invitational event and has no alternate list.