The world has been on high alert for the past few days as we wait for Tiger Woods to announce whether he will play the 2022 Masters at Augusta National. After rumors swirled last week as Woods was seen training on his medal-winning home course in South Florida, he has now been spotted in Augusta, Georgia after taking a flight to the Masters site.
Woods is said to be in town with his son, Charlie, and his friend Justin Thomas, according to Sports Illustrated. He will face Augusta National on Tuesday in a bid to prepare ahead of the 86th edition of the tournament. It was previously reported that Woods was joined by his caddie, Joe LaCava, at the medalist for a practice; however, it was actually his friend and confidant Rob McNamara who walked with Woods, a source told CBS Sports.
Of course, none of this means the five-time Masters champion has officially decided to play the tournament, but there’s definitely plenty of smoke so there isn’t as much fire, especially from from someone who has these five green jackets in 23 appearances. .
Woods has not played in an official tournament since the 2020 Masters, held in November, which preceded another back surgery for him in early 2021 and his horrific car accident in late February 2021. He recently said his accident almost resulted in the loss of his right leg.
Tiger was adamant that he was patient with his return to golf. Although he played in the PNC Championship with Charlie in December 2021, he refused to commit to a specific timeline for a return to the PGA Tour. He has instead insisted that any schedule he plays in the future will be limited.
When asked in February if he would be at the Masters by Jim Nantz on CBS, Woods only confirmed that he would be there for the Champions Dinner on Tuesday. And while it now looks like he could be here for so much more than that, this potential comeback is a departure from what is expected of Woods.
The 15-time major winner always insisted he only entered golf tournaments to win them, but he also admitted it took him months and months of preparation before he was ready to win the 2019 Masters. He must know that he has no realistic chance of winning this year’s Masters, which would suggest that he is here to celebrate rather than don a green jacket.
It should be celebrated, of course, because a tournament with Tiger Woods present is always better than a tournament in which he is absent, but it is certainly different from what we expect from Woods.
In 23 Masters appearances, Tiger has picked up an astounding five wins and 14 top 10 finishes.