Tiger Woods will tee off today as part of the 2022 Masters Tournament field. Woods made the announcement Tuesday during his official press conference at Augusta National with just two days to go until the first round begins—this after several days of practice at Augusta, Ga. including a trip with his son, Charlie, and Justin Thomas last week.
Hysteria has perhaps never been higher for a Woods return, and deservedly so, considering he hasn’t played an official event in 17 months and is just 14 months removed from a car accident that nearly took his right leg.
There was a lot to work through this week for Woods, which is likely why he said Sunday he would be a “game-time decision” and did not commit until the week of the actual event. Not only does Tiger need his swing to be in order, but his back—that has incurred nearly a half-dozen surgeries—and right leg (that hasn’t endured four rounds of tournament play in nearly two years) will have to hold up under the most intense pressure imaginable.
All of this is not to mention weather forecasts call for cold, wet and windy conditions through the week at Augusta.
“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.”
Prior to the car accident in February 2021, Woods underwent an additional back surgery at the beginning of that year—his first back surgery after his spine was fused together—so his recovery period has been doubly difficult over the last 15 months.
“I’m very lucky, very lucky,” said Woods in February at the Genesis Invitational. “As a lot of you guys know, I didn’t know if I was going to have the right leg or not. So, to be able to have my right leg still here, it’s huge. I still have a lot of issues with it, but it’s mine, and I’m very thankful for that. Thankful for all the surgeons and doctors and nurses that, for all the countless surgeries that we went through and countless rehabs and the PT sessions are brutal, but it’s still mine and I’m very thankful for that.”