Tiger Woods will play his 24th Masters on Thursday, but it’s hard to imagine a first round of the event involving Woods being watched with more anticipation.
That’s because another tournament appearance never seemed certain after his high-speed car crash 14 months ago in suburban Los Angeles. Woods suffered serious injuries to his right leg which required reconstructive surgery, with a rod, screws and pins inserted into his right foot and ankle.
Although Woods regained the ability to swing a golf club after enduring three months confined to a hospital bed and several months of rehabilitation, he rejected the idea that he would play regularly on the PGA Tour again. As recently as two months ago, he indicated that he was not yet ready to play competitively, especially since he stated that he did not want to return until he couldn’t play well enough to win.
And yet, starting last week, Woods made it clear his return to the Masters was a possibility when he flew from his Florida home to Augusta, Georgia, to play a practice round with Justin Thomas. , his friend and fellow tour pro. Woods’ son Charlie also joined the group.
About 10 days later, Woods will start the first round of the 2022 Masters at 10:34 a.m. with Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Joaquin Niemann of Chile. Oosthuizen won the 2015 British Open and Niemann won this year’s Genesis Invitational, which Woods hosted in Southern California. Thursday will mark the first competitive round of the tour for Woods since the 2020 Masters, which was moved from April to November that year due to the pandemic.
Woods will seek his sixth Masters victory, which would tie the career record for Masters titles held by Jack Nicklaus. If Woods won, it would be his 16th major golf championship, just two short of Nicklaus’ record 18 major titles.