Tiger Woods targeting sixth US Masters win
It would likely go down as one of the greatest sporting comebacks ever, if the five-time champion can do it once more given what has happened to him.
Tiger Woods has no doubt he can win The Masters for a sixth time as the legendary American prepares to make another sensational comeback.
Woods was unable to walk unaided for several months and has not played competitive golf since he sustained serious leg and foot injuries in a car crash in February 2021.
The 46-year-old was unsure if he would ever return to the top level but, extraordinarily, he is all set to make a remarkable comeback at Augusta National this week.
Woods, who won his first Masters title in Georgia 25 years ago, confirmed in a news conference on Tuesday that he feels ready to make a first appearance in a tournament since he played in the 2020 Masters.
While he will reassess after another nine holes of practice on Wednesday, Woods has firm belief that he can go on to win the title once again, having taken the green jacket in 2019 after recovering from serious back problems.
“I do,” he replied when asked if he believed he could win at Augusta again.
He expanded: “I can hit it just fine. I don’t have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint. It’s now walking is the hard part.
“This is normally not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the conditions that my leg is in, it gets even more difficult.
“You know, 72 holes is a long road, and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for.”
Explaining the process of being in a position to make his comeback, Woods said: “I’ve worked hard. My team has been unbelievable. I’ve been lucky to have great surgeons and great PTs and physios that have worked on me virtually every day.
“We’ve worked hard to get to this point, to get to this opportunity to walk the grounds, test it out, and see if I can do this.
“It’s been a tough, tough year and a lot of stuff that I had to deal with that I don’t wish on anyone, but here we are, Masters week. Being able to play and practice -- for me, more importantly, just to say thank you to all the guys that have texted me, FaceTimed me, and called me and given me all their support, to see them in person and to say thank you has meant a lot.
“It’s just a matter of what my body’s able to do the next day and the recovery. That’s the hard part. Yes, we push it and try and recover the best we possibly can that night and see how it is the next morning.
“Then all the activations and going through that whole process again, and you warm it up, and then you warm it back down, or test it out, and then you’ve got to cool it back down. Then you’ve got to do that day in and day out.”
Asked about his motivation to return, Woods – who has never missed the cut in 21 appearances at Augusta – replied: “I love competing, and I feel like if I can still compete at the highest level, I’m going to, and if I feel like I can still win, I’m going to play. But if I feel like I can’t, then you won’t see me out here.
“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 never left that hospital bed even to see my living room for three months. So that was a tough road. To finally get out of that where I wasn’t in a wheelchair or crutches and walking and still had more surgeries ahead of me, to say that I was going to be here playing and talking to you guys again, it would have been very unlikely.”