Tiger Woods on Masters: I don't know how many more I have in me

Tiger Woods of the US on the 8th during a practice round ahead of the Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday. Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Tiger Woods of the US on the 8th during a practice round ahead of the Masters at Augusta National on Tuesday. Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Published Apr 4, 2023


Augusta — Tiger Woods admitted on Tuesday he wonders each time he plays the Masters if it's his last competing at Augusta National, where he has won five of his 15 major titles.

"I don't know how many more I have in me," Woods said. "So just (have) to be able to appreciate the time I have here and cherish the memories."

Woods still struggles with walking after suffering severe leg injuries in a 2021 car crash and the undulating layout of Augusta National offers a stern stroll under the Georgia pines.

Woods made his competitive comeback at last year's Masters, when he shared 47th but achieved a major feat simply by finishing 72 holes.

"For me to be able to come back and play was a small victory in itself," Woods said.

"Last year, I didn't know if I was going to play again at that time. For some reason everything kind of came together and I pushed it a little bit and I was able to make the cut, which was nice."

Woods withdrew after three rounds of last year's PGA Championship with leg pain, skipped the US Open and missed the cut at the British Open.

Former world number one Woods, now ranked 1 001, showed his skills at Riviera in February, sharing 45th in his PGA return, and has impressed in practice rounds this week.

"My game is better than it was last year," Woods said. "I think my endurance is better. But it aches a little bit more than it did last year just because I really had not pushed it that often.

"I just have to be cognizant of how much I can push it. The difficulty for me is going to be the walking going forward."

The 47-year-old US legend has won 82 PGA Tour titles, level with Sam Snead for the all-time record.

After Jack Nicklaus said last month that Woods plans on playing in the 50-and-over Champions Tour - where players are allowed to use carts - Woods spoke of the prospect of joining pal Fred Couples there.

"I've got three more years until I get the little buggy and be out there with Fred," Woods said. "But until then, no buggy."

Woods took his first major victory since 2008 at the 2019 Masters, capping a shock comeback after spinal fusion.

"Prior to my back fusion, I didn't know I was going to be able to play the game at any kind of level," Woods said.

"Then obviously with the accident, it has been a tough road."

Woods isn't as mobile as he wants but he's happy his right leg wasn't amputated even if it has plates, bolts and screws in it.

"Mobility, it's not where I would like it, but I'm very lucky to have this leg," he said. "There's some hardware in there, but it's still mine.

"It has been tough and will always be tough. The ability and endurance of what my leg will do going forward will never be the same. That's why I can't prepare and play as many tournaments as I like.

"But that's my future and I'm okay with that."

Asked about his key to overcoming adversity, Woods summed it up in one word.

"Stubbornness," Woods said. "I've been stubborn and driven to come back and play at a high level ... Just hanging in there and fighting on each and every shot."

This week, that means using his knowledge of where to hit shots at Augusta National to try and contend despite his body's issues, with rehearsal shots at home replacing competition.

"That's the only way that I can compete here," Woods said. "I haven't played that much but if there's any course, it's here, just because I know the golf course.

"People probably didn't think I was a threat in 2019 either but kind of turned out okay."


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