Woods fuels Masters’ return rumours

Tiger Woods

WASHINGTON — Tiger Woods (pictured) has prompted speculation he will return to competitive action at next week’s Masters by completing a practice round at Augusta.

The former world number one, 46, has been recovering from leg injuries suffered in a car crash 14 months ago.

Social media reported Woods arrived at Augusta Regional Airport on Tuesday morning before making the short journey to the home of the Masters.

He walked 18 holes with his son Charlie and fellow PGA Tour pro Justin Thomas.

“He played every one of them,” a source told ESPN. “He looked good to me.”

Woods is named among 91 participants for next week’s Masters, a tournament he has won five times, most recently in 2019, but it had been thought the hilly Augusta National course might prove too demanding for the 15-time major champion.

It appears he used his practice round with Thomas, a close friend of the Woods family, as a fitness test to see whether he will be able to make a sensational return at the first men’s major of the year.

He suffered serious injuries to his right leg and right foot in the single-vehicle incident on February 23, 2021. He had open fractures in the upper and lower portions of the right tibia and fibula.

Woods subsequently said doctors nearly had to amputate his right leg.

Since the accident in the outskirts of Los Angeles, Woods has only competed in the 36-hole PNC Championship, where he partnered his 12-year-old son and rode in a buggy.

He was videoed playing in the company of his caddie Joe LaCava at the Medalist Golf Club in Florida last weekend.

“I wish I could tell you when I’m playing again,” Woods said on February 16 this year, while hosting the Genesis Invitational tournament on the PGA Tour. “I want to know, but I don’t. My golf activity has been very limited.”

Woods added: “It takes time. What is frustrating is it is not at my timetable. I want to be at a certain place, but I am not.

“I have just got to continue working. I’m getting better, yes. But as I said, not at the speed and rate that I would like.

“You add in the age factor, too. You just don’t quite heal as fast, which is frustrating.”

Woods has until next week to decide whether he will compete at the Masters.

His participation is likely to depend on how his body reacts to the rigours of playing Augusta’s severely undulating 18 holes last Tuesday.— ESPN