Tiger Woods is yet to rule himself out of a remarkable return at the 2022 Masters – which gets underway next week.
The 46-year-old, who is regarded as the greatest golfer of all time, was involved in a serious car accident in February 2021 that almost resulted in his leg being amputated
However, since that crash, Woods has mounted a comeback of sorts which saw him compete at the 2021 PNC Championship, a 36-hole competition that he finished second in alongside his son, Charlie.
Augusta is a notoriously hilly course and Woods still has difficulty walking over long spells – which is why many consider The 150th Open in July, at a dead-flat St Andrew’s, to be a more likely return.
But as it stands, five-time Masters champion Woods is still in the field for next week’s event and yet to confirm whether he’ll compete.
The golfing world has been sent into overdrive as they wait to find out whether the recent World Golf Hall Of Fame inductee will take part.
That speculation has kicked up another gear in recent days after a video emerged of the 15-time Major winner practicing at his local Medalist Golf Club, with his caddy, Joey, also spotted in town.
Whether this is an indicator that he’ll be involved remains to be seen, particularly after Woods’ comments in February suggested that he was still ‘a long way’ from a competitive return.
Speaking last month at the Genesis Invitational, he said: “I can still play, but I’m in a cart.
“Being a weekend warrior is easy, that’s not that hard. Hit your ball, hop in a cart, ride, barely step out of the cart, grab your club and hit the next one.
“The longest walk you have is probably from, what, the cart to the green and back. I can do that, that’s not that hard, but walking a golf course, that’s a totally different deal.
“I’ve got a long way to go.”
In December, Woods was equally as cautious about a return, despite starring at the PNC Championship with his son Charlie.
“I’m just starting to get back into trying to play again, so I don’t quite have the endurance that I would like to have,” he said ahead of his first competitive round of golf since 2020.
“I’ve still got the hands, I’ve still got the feel. Unfortunately sometimes the feel doesn’t really match up with the speed or the shot that I’m seeing. The ball is not quite flying as far as I’d like or I’m used to.
“(My swing is) just not as powerful. I just don’t have the speed. I can’t generate the speed (I’m) used to, and you know, the body is not what it used to be.
“Obviously it’s been a little banged up this year, and slowly but surely I’ll get to where the speed will start coming back up, and I can start hitting the shots that I know that I see that just aren’t quite coming off.”