AUGUSTA, Ga. — The “game-time decision’’ has been made: Tiger Woods confirmed on Tuesday that he’ll play in this week’s Masters.
Woods also boldly declared his game in good enough shape to win a record-tying sixth green jacket.
“As of right now, I feel like I am going to play,” Woods said. “I’m going to play nine more holes [Wednesday]. My recovery has been good. I’ve been excited about how I’ve recovered each day. That’s why I came early [last Tuesday] and tested it.”
Woods, who’s fewer than 14 months removed from the grisly car cash he was in outside of Los Angeles in February, revealed that he actually played 27 holes during his reconnaissance visit last Tuesday because his son, Charlie, “couldn’t help himself.”
Woods played the back nine on Sunday afternoon and he played the front nine Monday afternoon with Fred Couples and Justin Thomas. He worked for about 30 minutes in the practice area on Tuesday before his 11 a.m. pre-tournament press conference and plans to play nine more holes with Couples on Wednesday as final preparation for his 24th Masters.
Tiger Woods practices around Augusta National on April 5, 2022.Getty Images
Tiger Woods and Fred Couples during a practice round at Augusta on April 4, 2022.EPA
This week is the 25th anniversary of Woods’ first Masters victory, his historic, runaway win in 1997.
He spoke Tuesday like he’s ready to add more iconic memories this week.
Asked if he thinks he can win this week, Woods said, “I do.’’
Tiger Woods bends down to tie the shoe on his injured right foot on Tuesday at Augusta National.Getty Images
Tiger Woods’ car is hauled away after his Feb. 2013 crash outside Los Angeles.AP
“I love competing and I feel like if I can still compete at the highest level I’m going to’’ he said. “If feel I can still win, I’ll keep playing. I don’t show up to an event unless I feel like I can win it. There’ll be a day when that can’t happen and I’ll know when that is.
“This week, I don’t have to worry about the ball striking or the game of golf; it’s the walking. I can hit it just fine. I don’t have any qualms about what I can do from a golf standpoint. Walking is the hard part. This is not an easy walk to begin with, and now given the conditions of my leg is in, it’s more difficult.
“Seventy-two holes is a long run. It’s going to be the challenge of a major marathon. It’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for.”