FILE PHOTO: Golf - PNC Championship - The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Florida, U.S. - December 19, 2021 Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 10th hole during the Pro-Am REUTERS/Joe Skipper
March 29, 2022
(Reuters) – Five-times champion Tiger Woods will play a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday to determine whether he is fit enough to compete at next week’s Masters, according to a Sports Illustrated report.
The report, which cited a source who did not want to be identified, said Woods arrived at the course along with his 13-year-old son Charlie to evaluate his fitness on the hilly layout that will host the April 7-10 Masters.
The report came after online flight tracking websites said a plane belonging to Woods, who has been recovering from career-threatening leg injuries suffered in a February 2021 car crash, arrived at Augusta Regional Airport on Tuesday.
Woods said last month that he had a “long way to go” in his recovery but recent reports have stated he was planning to visit Augusta National this week ahead of the year’s first major.
While the 46-year-old Woods has not played a PGA Tour event since the Masters in November 2020, his playing status continues to dominate the build-up to the Masters.
As per tournament protocol, Woods’ name will remain on the list of competitors that appear on the Masters website unless the 15-times major champion notifies Augusta National that he will not compete.
Woods’ only event since the single-car accident came last December when he finished runner-up alongside his son in a 36-hole exhibition played on a flat course with no rough.
Playing at Augusta National, however, represents one of the more taxing walks on the PGA Tour given its undulating terrain that all but guarantees that golfers will hit from any number of uneven lies during the week.
The Masters is the only one of golf’s four majors played annually on the same course and so familiarity with the famed layout has always been considered an advantage.
Woods has made 23 Masters appearances and proven that even when his game is not at its sharpest, or if he is coming off a long layoff, he can contend at Augusta National.
In 2019, Woods capped one of the most remarkable comebacks in professional sport when, at the age of 43, he won the Masters after years of surgery and personal problems.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)