Tiger Woods plans to make a triumphant return to competitive golf at the Masters.
“As of right now, I feel like I'm going to play,” Woods said during his official press conference Tuesday, two days before the start of the tournament in Augusta, Ga.
Woods added that he is going to play nine more holes at Augusta National Golf Club on Wednesday. At that point, he will make his final evaluation for his participation in the tournament. For now, he is scheduled in the 10:34 a.m. ET grouping for Thursday's first round with Joaquin Niemann of Chile and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa.
“It's great to be back,” Woods said.
Woods' comments came two days after he tweeted that he would be a “game-time decision” for the event. He is 17 months removed from playing in an official event, and approximately 14 months from a single-car accident near Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021.
When asked if he felt like he could win the Masters this week, Woods was succinct.
“I do,” he said.
Woods, 46, hasn't played a round on the PGA Tour since the pandemic-delayed 2020 Masters, which was played in November of that year. The 15-time major champion underwent multiple surgeries on his right leg following his car accident.
“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,” he said. “Seventy-two holes is a long road. It's going to be a tough challenge and a challenge I'm up for.”
Woods has won five green jackets, including in 2019, which marked his first major title in 11 years.
Only Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters titles (six) and more majors (18) than Woods.