Woods confirms plans to play 86th US Masters at Augusta

"As of right now, I feel like I am going to play," said Woods in a media conference on Tuesday.
"I’m going to play nine more holes tomorrow.
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My recovery has been good. I’ve been very excited about how I’ve recovered each and every day.

Does he think he can win a 16th major?

"I do," said Woods. "I can hit it just fine. I don’t have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint.
"Walking’s the hard part. This is normally not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the condition my leg is in it gets a little more difficult.
"72 holes is a long road and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for.
"I think that the fact that I was able to get myself here to this point is a success, and now that I am playing, now that everything is focused on how do I get myself into the position where I'm on that back nine on Sunday with a chance? Just like I did a few years ago.
I love competing and I feel like if I can still compete at the highest level, I’m going to. And if I feel can still win, I’m going to play. But if I feel like I can’t, then you won’t see me out here.
"You guys know me better than that. I don’t show up to an event unless I think I can win it. That’s the attitude I’ve had.
"There’ll be a day when it won’t happen and I’ll know when that is."

Why is there such a buzz around Tiger competing at Augusta?

An estimated gallery of 60,000 watched Woods play nine holes on Sunday and nine holes on Monday at Augusta National as the 15-time major winner decided whether or not he is fit enough to potentially compete in the season's first major.
It would be a miraculous return for the 46-year-old Woods, who announced last week he was hoping to compete at the fabled venue only 14 months after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car crash.
Woods played nine holes on Sunday and another nine holes with former World No 1 Justin Thomas and the 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples in practice on Monday.

Tiger Woods / Augusta National Golf Club / Masters

Image credit: Getty Images

“What impressed me the most is he’s bombing it,” said Couples. "I know JT is not the longest hitter on the tour, but he’s damn long, and he was with him. Flushing it.
"I never speak for Tiger so I’m not going to get into…he walked nine holes, I guess he walked nine yesterday, but as a friend, the way he looked, it’s very impressive.
“It’s a Monday, right? But he didn’t miss many shots and he drove it great.”

Would it be the greatest recovery in the history of golf?

It would rival any sporting comeback in any field. Just to tee it up would be a remarkable triumph for Woods, who suffered open fractures to both the tibia and the fibula in his right leg after losing control of his vehicle outside of Los Angeles on 23 February 2021.
He was rushed to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and subsequently transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he spent three weeks and faced possible amputation.
“There was a point in time when, I wouldn’t say it was 50/50, but it was damn near there if I was going to walk out of that hospital with one leg," he told GolfDigest.com.
"Once I [kept it], I wanted to test and see if I still had my hands. So even in the hospital, I would have [girlfriend] Erica [Herman] and [friend] Rob [McNamara] throw me something. Throw me anything.”

When did he last play a competitive round?

Woods last played on the PGA Tour at the Masters in November 2020 as he finished in a tie for 38th place a year after claiming his fifth Green Jacket.
He is a 50-1 shot at the outset of the week, but this is a player who is used to defying the odds and injury to triumph after enduring multiple career-saving back surgeries.
He is made of mettle both in style, substance and success as he resumes his quest for a 16th major.

What are others saying about Woods playing?

US Open champion Jon Rahm: "It feels like this Monday they allowed way more people to come in just because the last two years had limited invitations, COVID, and what everybody has gone through.
"More people wanted to come out, then Tiger's playing, so a lot more people are coming out Monday trying to see him. It's a combination of things, I think.

Woods: I will only retire when I can't win anymore, and that not now

"There's a lot more electricity in the air in that sense, and you have Tiger being there, yeah. Monday felt like a Saturday in a regular event."
Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy ahead of his bid to complete the career grand slam: "Tiger has been wonderful for us all in this room.
He creates attention on the game of golf that no one else can. That's great for his peers. It's great for the media. It's great for this golf club. It's great for everyone. So any time Tiger Woods is involved, it's a wonderful thing.
"I think in terms of the competitive nature of it, if he's in the field or not, I don't think it really changes much. You're trying to focus on yourself, and he can't stop you shooting a 67 if you play well. It's not like any other sport. So I don't think that changes much.
"But would I be -- I wouldn't be surprised. I've spent a little bit of time with him at home, and the golf is there. He's hitting it well. He's chipping well.
"He's sharp. It's just the physical demand of getting around 72 holes here this week. That's probably the question mark. But the golf game is there. So would I be surprised? No, I'm not surprised at anything he does anymore."
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