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Tiger Woods’ status for The Masters 2022: Will he play at Augusta this year?

It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen Tiger Woods compete in an expert match, however the {golfing} icon could be able to get again on the course — or perhaps not. One of the main tales main as much as The Masters this week is whether or not or not Tiger will play in his first occasion since his horrific February 2021 automotive accident. While realistically no one thinks Woods can win, everybody needs to see him again on the course.

Tiger’s potential return is one thing everybody needs to see. The former No. 1 continues to be the draw of the golf world, even when he hasn’t held the highest spot since 2014. This has led to a fevered pitch at Augusta as individuals grasp off each heat up, every look, even his footwear to attempt to glean info on whether or not Woods will compete this week or not.

What occurred in his automotive accident?

Early within the morning of February 23, 2021 reviews emerged that Woods had been concerned in a severe automotive accident. A single-vehicle crash, Woods was concerned in a rollover through which his SUV ran off the highway at a reported 80 miles per hour, near Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.

After leaving the highway, Woods’ car rolled down a steep incline, coming to relaxation on the backside of a ditch, resting on its facet. Emergency personnel needed to take away Woods from the car utilizing the jaws of life, and whereas his accidents weren’t life-threatening, he was transported to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center with severe accidents.

The breadth of Woods’ quite a few accidents had been extremely extreme for a professional athlete. He suffered open fractures (generally known as “compound fractures”) to the tibia and fibula in his proper leg and ankle, in addition to structural and smooth tissue injury to his proper ankle.

Speaking to the media in November of 2021, Woods detailed how severe his accidents had been. He mentioned the injury to his leg was so intensive that “amputation was on the table,” although docs had been capable of save his limb by surgical intervention.

When did Tiger final compete?

We final noticed Tiger on the course on the father/son PNC Championship in December, when Tiger and Charlie Woods completed second to John Daly and John Daly II — although that was largely a relaxed, pro-am environment.

It’s been nearly 18 months since Woods final competed in an expert occasion, coincidentally sufficient at The Masters 2020. Covid delayed the occasion, pushing the Augusta custom from March to November of 2020, and noticed Woods end thirty eighth.

Still, The Masters have all the time been particular for Tiger. In 2019 he surprised the world by profitable profitable the occasion from lengthy odds. He earned his fifth inexperienced jacket, breaking a tie with Jack Nicklaus and placing him only one away from tying Arnold Palmer for 1st.

Is it sensible to assume he’ll return?

No, probably not — nevertheless it’s right here issues get trickier. The risk for Woods’ return has been one thing on the playing cards for this 12 months, however when requested Woods has downplayed coming again for The Masters 2022.

As just lately as Sunday he threw water on rumors he was on the point of come again this week by saying he was a “game time decision,” however extra notably identified simply how a lot rehabilitation he’s been engaged on, to not play golf, however merely reside his life.

“I’m still working on the walking part. My foot was a little messed up there about a year ago, so the walking part is something that I’m still working on, working on strength and development in that. It takes time. What’s frustrating is it’s not at my timetable. I want to be at a certain place, but I’m not. I’ve 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 went on so as to add that any form of golf apply has been exceedingly restricted. He informed reporters that he has been placing and chipping the ball, mentioning that it’s going properly, however that he’s had subsequent to no apply driving the ball or engaged on his lengthy recreation.

Still, rumors swirled — particularly when The Masters launched an inventory of former champions who wouldn’t be taking part in in 2022, with Woods’ identify notably off the listing. It would appear the door was open for Tiger to make a triumphant return, regardless of all indicators pointing to him nonetheless being an extended, great distance from returning to competitors.

But he’s in Augusta, proper?

Yes, nevertheless it’s necessary to not conflate that with “he’s playing.” There’s ample motive for Woods to be concerned in The Masters in some capability aside from taking part in. The Champion’s Dinner has lengthy been an event for winners of the previous to seem at Augusta, serving because the de facto social gathering of the 12 months for skilled golfers.

This additionally marks his first main return to the highlight on this planet {of professional} golf, which implies Woods may very well be utilizing his look on the occasion to get the media consideration out of the way in which now, so when he is able to get again on the course he gained’t be met with the identical degree of scrutiny.

What’s this I heard about his footwear?

Everyone is clamoring for some signal that Woods may come again, as a result of that’s how a lot individuals wish to see Tiger play once more. This additionally occurred Sunday when individuals observed he was training in FootJoy model footwear, relatively than his signature Nikes.

Marketing themselves as a “more comfortable golfing shoe,” Woods carrying FootJoys has prompted hypothesis that he’s extra severe about making an attempt to play than he’s letting on. Changing footwear can be important in gentle of his long-term sponsor, although many have taken the change to FootJoy to imply that he’s on the lookout for some foot aid and luxury that may permit him to stroll comfortably on his surgically repaired leg throughout The Masters.

These rumors appear to have not less than some tooth, with Nike issuing an announcement that was supportive of their athlete, however acknowledged their merchandise may not be fitted to him proper now.

“Like golf fans around the world, we are delighted to see Tiger back on the course,” Nike mentioned in an announcement. “He is an incredible athlete, and it is phenomenal to see him returning to the game at this level. His story continues to transcend sport and inspire us all. As he continues his return, we will work with him to meet his new needs.”

So look, will Tiger play?

Only Tiger Woods can reply that. Honestly, the sense is that he actually, actually needs to return, however he’s simply not there but. The query then pivots as to whether Tiger would take to Augusta figuring out his recreation is restricted and he may not be capable of end a spherical, or would he relatively wait till he can return at his greatest?

History tells us Woods would sooner skip an occasion than ship a sub-par efficiency, however that is very completely different to his previous accidents. The world would fully perceive if he can’t play, or is pressured to retire early — and no one has any illusions that Tiger may shock the sector in 2022 and win The Masters.

Whatever occurs subsequent, Tiger would be the discuss of Augusta till the match begins on Thursday. If he’s capable of go, the reception he will get at that first tee may very well be probably the most emotional we’ve ever seen.



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