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The Masters: Tiger Woods return at Augusta National would be ‘phenomenal’, says Rory McIlroy



Tiger Woods has increased speculation about a possible return to action in The Masters by playing a practice round at Augusta National; Rory McIlroy: “If he does play it would be a monumental achievement from where he was last year.”

Rory Mcllroy has revealed he saw Tiger Woods at Augusta and says he is “looking great” and “doing everything he can” to play at The Masters.

The 15-time major winner has not featured in a PGA Tour event since a tied-38th finish at The Masters in November 2020, with Woods still yet to return to action since requiring surgery on open fractures in a life-threatening car crash last February.

Woods played in the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie, in December but has yet to confirm whether he will play in the opening men’s major of the year, with the former world No 1 unable to put a timetable on his return when asked during the Genesis Invitational last month.

The 46-year-old reportedly played a practice round at Augusta on Tuesday, fuelling speculation that the five-time Masters champion could be set for a sensational comeback, with McIlroy welcoming the idea that Woods could feature again next week.


“I think for golf and the Masters tournament and everyone, to have Tiger [Woods] there would be phenomenal,” said McIlroy.

“I spent some time with him at his house a few weeks ago. At that point it didn’t look possible. He’s definitely made a lot of big strides over the last few weeks.

“I saw him yesterday [Tuesday] at Augusta and he looked great. He said, ‘I’m just seeing what’s going to happen here, if I can make it around 18’. Walking 18 around Medalist is not like walking 18 at Augusta.

“He is being conservative but he is doing everything he can to see if he can play. If he does it would be a monumental achievement from where he was last year.


“And everyone would love to see him there regardless, if he plays or doesn’t play, goes to the Champions Dinner, plays the par-three, whatever it is. Having Tiger Woods in the game again is great for all of us. It’s great to see him back and just considering playing next week is a great thing.”

Woods has special reason to attend the annual gathering of former champions as this year marks the 25th anniversary of his first Masters triumph, by a record 12 shots, in 1997.


He could also choose to play in the pre-tournament par-three contest on April 6, having previously said he would be fit enough to manage the nine holes. “I can do that now,” Woods said during his press conference at last month. “Whether I do that or not, I don’t know.”