Tiger Woods has said he plans to compete in the 86th Masters Tournament this week, less than 14 months after the golfer suffered serious injuries in a horrific car crash.
The 15-time major winner, who feared his right leg would have to be amputated after the accident in February 2021, has not contested a top-level event since the 2020 Masters in November that year.
“As of right now I feel like I am going to play,” Woods said in his pre-tournament press conference at the Augusta National on Tuesday.
He said he will make a final decision on Wednesday after playing nine more holes at the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the iconic tournament.
The 46-year-old, who competed in the PNC Championship with his son Charlie in December, played a practice round in Augusta last week and nine holes on both Sunday and Monday.
Asked if he thought he could win a 16th major title this week, Woods said: “I do.”
But his injury is still very much on his mind, he admitted, saying: “Walking’s the hard part. This is not an easy walk to begin with, and given the condition my leg is in, it’s even more difficult.
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“Seventy-two holes is a long road. It’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge I’m up for.”
Woods said he would not be able to play golf full-time “ever again” after his SUV hit a tree in Los Angeles.
Police said he had been speeding at the time, but did not take a blood sample.
He told officers he did not remember driving, let alone how the crash occurred.
Woods spent a month in hospital undergoing surgery on his lower right leg as well as his foot and ankle.
He later predicted he would manage just one or two events per year if his rehab went well.
Woods told Golf Digest: “I think something that is realistic is playing the tour one day – never full-time, ever again – but pick and choose, just like Mr [Ben] Hogan did.
“Pick and choose a few events a year and you play around that.”
In the first picture he shared after the accident, he was on crutches, with his right leg and foot in a cast, but he said his recovery was “coming along”.
Woods has won The Masters five times in his career, which is the second only to Jack Nicklaus who captured the trophy six times.
His career earnings are listed at more than $120m (£86.5M).