For the first time since the February 2021 car wreck that threatened his ability to walk again, Tiger Woods confirmed Tuesday he intends to play in the Masters. Woods’ desire to compete comes after a 9-hole practice round on Monday with a huge audience.
Woods has only played in one competition since the nightmarish single-car accident 14 months ago, where he suffered multiple leg fractures that had stabilized with a rod. He also needed screws and pins put into his ankle and foot. He returned to gold at the PNC Championship last December, where competitors teamed up with a family member for a two-day tournament. Woods paired with his then-12-year-old son, Charlie Woods, and finished second behind John Daly and his son with a combined 25-under-par.
Woods’ pursuit of his sixth green jacket harkens to another previous Masters winner, Ben Hogan, who won the 1950 U.S. Open 16 months after luckily surviving a catastrophic car wreck of his own. The 2022 Masters will also be his first professional event since undergoing back surgery in December 2020, which had already sidelined Woods for the first few months of 2021 before the accident. He’s scheduled to tee off at 10:34 a.m.EST
“As of right now I feel like I am going to play,” Woods said to reporters in Augusta, Georgia. “I’m going to play nine more [practice] holes [Wednesday]. My recovery has been good.”
After the pageantry of Woods’ 2019 win that resembled Jack Nicklaus’ 1986 Masters victory due to the length between green jackets, a 2022 win would make that child’s play. Nicklaus waited 11 years for his sixth Masters win. Woods’ fourth victory at golf’s biggest tournament came in 2005. It would be 25 years since Woods’ 12-stroke victory to win his first Masters in 1997. Nicklaus won his six green jackets over a 23-year span.
Woods’ next PGA Tour victory would set the all-time record. He’s at 82 wins, tied with Sam Snead. Ratings skyrocketed for the final round of the 2019 Masters, highlighted by Woods’ win, peaking at 18.3 million viewers. The 2020 rescheduled Masters only drew 5.59 million viewers. Expect an even larger audience should Woods be in contention for the victory. On Caesars Sportsbook, Woods’ odds to win the Masters are set at +5000, the equivalent of 50-1.