Tiger Woods practices at Augusta one last time ahead of his HIGHLY anticipated return at US Masters – What We Know!

Tiger Woods walks on the 15th fairway during a practice round for the Masters on Wednesday in Augusta, Georgia

With a gallery of hundreds of adoring followers in tow, Tiger Woods was again on the course at Augusta Nationwide early Wednesday morning for some of the extremely anticipated apply rounds in current reminiscence.

The PGA icon already indicated his plans to play Thursday within the first spherical of this 12 months’s Masters Match, however he did warning that his standing for golf’s first main of the 12 months was contingent on his efficiency Wednesday.

Nobody would have been stunned if Woods by no means performed golf once more after a automotive crash in Los Angeles that broken his proper leg so badly he stated medical doctors raised the prospect of amputation. Out of the general public eye for 9 months, Woods despatched hopes hovering final November with a video of him swinging the membership with a easy message, ‘Making progress.’

And right here he’s at Augusta Nationwide, making a Monday apply spherical really feel like Sunday at a serious due to the gallery, strolling the steep slopes, swinging effectively and making it clear he has each intention of enjoying within the Masters.

Does he suppose he can win?

Woods supplied the shortest reply of his press convention: ‘I do.’

Tiger Woods walks on the fifteenth fairway throughout a apply spherical for the Masters on Wednesday in Augusta, Georgia 

With a gallery of thousands of adoring fans in tow, Tiger Woods was back on the course at Augusta National early Wednesday morning for one of the most highly anticipated practice rounds in recent memory

With a gallery of hundreds of adoring followers in tow, Tiger Woods was again on the course at Augusta Nationwide early Wednesday morning for some of the extremely anticipated apply rounds in current reminiscence 

Woods watches his approach shot on the 12th hole at Augusta National ahead of Thursday's opening round at the Masters

Woods watches his method shot on the twelfth gap at Augusta Nationwide forward of Thursday’s opening spherical on the Masters

Tiger Woods pictured on the thirteenth hole during the final practice round for the 2022 Masters Tournament

Tiger Woods pictured on the thirteenth gap through the closing apply spherical for the 2022 Masters Match

Woods said Tuesday he is planning to play and thinks he can win. Never mind that it will be 508 days from the last time he played a tournament where he had to walk, or that he returns to this Masters with screws and rods still holding the bones in place in his right leg

Tiger Woods of the United States wipes his face on the 13th green during a practice round prior to the Masters

Woods stated Tuesday he’s planning to play and thinks he can win. By no means thoughts that will probably be 508 days from the final time he performed a match the place he needed to stroll, or that he returns to this Masters with screws and rods nonetheless holding the bones in place in his proper leg

Tiger Woods speaks with his caddie Joe LaCava on the 12th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament

Tiger Woods speaks along with his caddie Joe LaCava on the twelfth gap throughout a apply spherical for the Masters golf match

He stated Tuesday he’s planning to play and thinks he can win. By no means thoughts that will probably be 508 days from the final time he performed a match the place he needed to stroll, or that he returns to this Masters with screws and rods nonetheless holding the bones in place in his proper leg.

Woods is also 46. He could be the oldest Masters champion by three weeks over Jack Nicklaus.

The largest query is how he holds up over 18 holes for 4 straight days. Woods walked 18 holes final week — his first huge check — throughout a scouting journey with 13-year-old son Charlie (together with a cease on the Par 3 course).

He performed the again 9 on Sunday, the entrance 9 on Monday.

Woods plans 9 extra for Wednesday after which it’s ‘sport time.’ He’s to tee off at 10:34 a.m. Thursday with Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann.

TIGER & THE MASTERS 

By getting back from his year-long post-crash hiatus, Tiger Woods is now in place to tie PGA legend Jack Nicklaus’s file by successful his sixth Masters Match this 12 months.

The 46-year-old Woods’s profession will without end be linked to the annual occasion in Augusta, Georgia. Not solely was the Masters his first main victory in 1997, however the match was truly his first Tour Main in 1995, when he tied for forty first as the one novice to make the lower.

Two years later, he’d grow to be the youngest champion in Masters historical past by beating runner-up Tom Kite by a whopping 12 strokes.

Woods received consecutive Masters Tournaments in 2001 and 2002, earlier than successful the 2005 Masters in a playoff in opposition to American Chris DiMarco.

However maybe his most memorable win got here in 2019, when he miraculously recovered from again surgical procedure to beat a trio of American rivals: Dustin Jonson, Brooks Koepka, and Xander Schauffele.

‘I can hit it simply high quality. I don’t have any qualms about what I can do bodily from a golf standpoint,’ Woods stated. ‘Strolling is the exhausting half. That is usually not a straightforward stroll to start with. Now given the circumstances that my leg is in, it will get much more troublesome.

‘Seventy-two holes is a protracted street and it’s going to be a troublesome problem,’ he stated. ‘And a problem that I’m up for.’

That is likely to be the largest cause Woods is even at Augusta Nationwide for greater than the sushi and miso-glazed cod and Wagyu beef that defending champion Hideki Matsuyama placed on the menu for the champions-only dinner Tuesday night time.

If he by no means performs — if he by no means wins — Woods stated he’s glad with what he has achieved.

‘I feel 82 is a reasonably good quantity,’ Woods stated. ‘And 15 shouldn’t be too dangerous, both.’

His 15 majors are second solely to Jack Nicklaus and his 18, the gold normal in golf. He’s tied with Sam Snead for the PGA Tour profession file with 82 wins.

So why hold coming again? What else is there to show?

‘I like competing,’ Woods stated. ‘And I really feel like if I can nonetheless compete on the highest stage, I’m going to. And if I really feel like I can nonetheless win, I’m going to play.’

‘I don’t present as much as an occasion except I feel I can win it. In order that’s the perspective I’ve had,’ he stated. ‘There will probably be a day when it received’t occur, and I’ll know when that’s.’

Shortly after he spoke, the beginning occasions have been launched. Woods is helped by being a part of the early-late rotation, which means he may have some 22 hours between rounds.

In any other case, Tuesday was principally a wash. Woods wasn’t planning on something greater than engaged on the vary, anyway, and even that labored in his favor. Heavy storms moved over Augusta in regards to the time he completed his work, and the course was closed the remainder of the day.

So long as Woods has been a part of Masters lore — Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer as soon as predicted he would win extra inexperienced jackets than each of them mixed (10) — the truth is rust from no critical competitors and a physique that has endured at the very least 10 surgical procedures to each legs and his again.

Tiger Woods putts on the 10th green during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament

Tiger Woods putts on the tenth inexperienced throughout a apply spherical for the Masters golf match

Tiger Woods of the US hits from the fairway on the fourteenth hole during Wednesday's practice round

Tiger Woods of the US hits from the green on the fourteenth gap throughout Wednesday’s apply spherical 

However he’s planning to play, and that looks like sufficient for now.

‘I feel that the truth that I used to be in a position to get myself right here so far is a hit,’ Woods stated. ‘And now that I’m enjoying, now all the pieces is targeted on, ‘How do I get myself into the place the place I’m on that again 9 on Sunday with an opportunity?’ Identical to I did just a few years in the past.’

That was 2019, his fifth Masters title that adopted 4 surgical procedures the earlier 5 years on his decrease again.

‘What number of comebacks has he had?’ Jordan Spieth requested in wonderment.

There was the return from reconstructive knee surgical procedure after his 2008 U.S. Open victory. He received seven occasions worldwide the next 12 months. There was a return to No. 1 following the implosion in his private life, and earlier than the again surgical procedures.

Nothing compares with this one, primarily due to the strolling concerned on a leg so badly broken that Woods spent three months in a hospital mattress earlier than advancing to a wheel chair, crutches, a compression sleeve and nonetheless the occasional limp.

‘It’s wonderful if you consider the place he was at a 12 months in the past to now,’ Spieth stated. ‘I don’t understand how many individuals — if anyone — may very well be out right here. And this isn’t a straightforward stroll. So to be out right here and to not throw his age within the combine, however I don’t suppose that helps a lot for that restoration.

‘However is anyone stunned?’

Tiger and his 12-year-old son Charlie share a laugh during at the the PNC Championship, where the elder Woods played his first competitive golf following his horrific car crash in 2021

Tiger and his 12-year-old son Charlie share fun throughout on the the PNC Championship, the place the elder Woods performed his first aggressive golf following his horrific automotive crash in 2021 

Woods performed in December on the PNC Problem, a 36-hole scramble on a flat Florida course the place he and his son Charlie completed second to John Daly and his son. Woods was allowed to make use of a cart in that occasion, and when these rounds have been over he flatly dismissed any notion that his sport was tour-ready once more.

‘I can’t compete in opposition to these guys proper now, no,’ Woods stated on December 19. ‘It’s going to take a whole lot of work to get to the place I really feel like I can compete at these guys and be at a excessive stage.’ 

Thursday’s opening spherical would mark the primary time Woods competes in opposition to the world’s greatest gamers since November 15, 2020, which was the ultimate spherical of that 12 months’s pandemic-delayed Masters.

He had his fifth again surgical procedure two months later and was nonetheless recovering from that on February 23, 2021 when he crashed his SUV over a median on a suburban coastal street in Los Angeles and down the aspect of a hill.

Woods’ accidents from that crash have been so extreme that medical doctors thought of proper leg amputation, earlier than reassembling the limb by putting a rod within the tibia and utilizing screws and pins to stabilize extra accidents within the ankle and foot.

‘It’s been a troublesome, robust 12 months … however right here we’re,’ Woods stated.

Because the accident, Woods has gone from crutches to slowly strolling after which enjoying in the previous couple of months. He began hitting balls on the again finish of the vary at Albany throughout his Hero World Problem within the Bahamas final November. 

However regardless of these obstacles, Woods has regarded sharp, based on those that noticed him on the PNC Championship in December.  The daddy of Justin Thomas bought the primary have a look at Woods enjoying a spherical in ten months and noticed greater than he anticipated.

‘It’s loopy how good he’s hitting – and much he’s hitting – for what he’s been by way of,’ Mike Thomas stated. ‘It’s spectacular the place he’s at.’ 

Woods told sheriff's deputies he did not know how the collision occurred and didn't even remember driving

Woods instructed sheriff’s deputies he didn’t understand how the collision occurred and didn’t even bear in mind driving

It has been 14 months since Woods rolled an SUV in Rancho Palos Verdes, California after allegedly driving at greater than 80mph — almost twice the authorized velocity restrict.

Woods, the one individual concerned within the wreck, suffered a number of compound fractures in each legs and has been out of the general public eye ever since as he’s continued to bear rehab from his accidents. 

He beforehand had his fifth again surgical procedure in January of 2021, however burdened that he anticipated to return to the tour. 

Nonetheless, Woods would miss your complete 2021 season because of the February wreck, which he was fortunate to outlive, based on police. Investigators thought of the crash to be an accident, however wouldn’t launch the trigger on account of privateness issues. Unusually, Woods uncared for to hit the breaks for 400 ft after working into the media.

‘I’m fortunate to be alive and still have a limb,’ Woods instructed reporters in November. ‘These are two essential issues, I’m very grateful that somebody upstairs was caring for me, that I’m in a position to not solely be right here, but in addition to stroll with no prosthesis.’ 

Anish Mahajan, the interim chief government of the Harbor-UCLA Medical Heart, stated a rod and pins have been wanted to stabilize Woods’s leg following the crash. 

‘Mr Woods suffered vital orthopedic accidents to his proper decrease extremity that have been handled throughout emergency surgical procedure,’ he stated. ‘Comminuted open fractures affecting each the higher and decrease parts of the tibia and fibula bones have been stabilized by inserting a rod into the tibia.

‘Trauma to the muscle and soft-tissue of the leg required surgical launch of the overlaying of the muscle mass to alleviate stress on account of swelling.’

In April Woods showed himself in his first photo since the accident. Although he was smiling, Woods was leaning on crutches and his right leg remained in a protective cast

In November of 2021, Woods was seen walking without crutches or a cast on his right leg

In April of 2021 (left), Woods confirmed himself in his first photograph for the reason that accident. Though he was smiling, Woods was leaning on crutches and his proper leg remained in a protecting forged. In November of 2021 (proper), Woods is strolling with out crutches or a forged on his proper leg

Followers and golfers responded by sporting pink for Woods through the World Golf Championships later that month.

‘It’s exhausting to elucidate how touching immediately was after I turned on the television and noticed all of the pink shirts,’ Woods tweeted. ‘To each golfer and each fan, you’re really serving to me get by way of this robust time.’

In April of 2021, Woods confirmed himself in his first photograph for the reason that accident. Though he was smiling, Woods was leaning on crutches and his proper leg remained in a protecting forged.

Woods, who is not any stranger to recovering from damage, described the grueling course of to Golf Digest a month later.

‘This has been a wholly totally different animal,’ he stated. ‘I perceive extra of the rehab processes due to my previous accidents, however this was extra painful than something I’ve ever skilled.’

In this February 23 file photo, a law enforcement officer looks over a damaged vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods in the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. A man who found Woods unconscious in a mangled SUV last week after the golf star who later told sheriff's deputies he did not know how the collision occurred

On this February 23 file photograph, a legislation enforcement officer appears to be like over a broken car following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods within the Rancho Palos Verdes suburb of Los Angeles. A person who discovered Woods unconscious in a mangled SUV final week after the golf star who later instructed sheriff’s deputies he didn’t understand how the collision occurred