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“As of Right Now,” Tiger Woods will Play in the Masters

Tiger Woods has confirmed the growing suspicion that he will return to golf by saying that “as of right now,” he will play in The Masters Tournament.

“As of right now, I feel like I am going to play, as of right now,” Woods said Tuesday. “I’m going to play nine more holes [Wednesday]. My recovery has been good. I’ve been very excited about how I’ve recovered each and every day, and that’s been the challenge.”

The 15-time major champion is just over a year and a month removed from a violent car crash in the Los Angeles hills that almost cost him his leg. Now, he looks ready to make his return to the sports he used to dominate.

Tiger Woods is back

Woods’ participation in the Masters came out of nowhere over the past couple of weeks; oddsmakers were even offering betting lines on whether or not he would make it to the first tee of the event. 

His decision comes after he played a practice round with his son, Charlie, and Justin Thomas at Augusta National last week, at which time he announced that he would be a “game-time decision.” He played a practice round of the back nine on Sunday and the first nine on Monday and was out practicing again Tuesday before inclement weather closed the course.

Even though they have only been practice sessions, Woods’ presence on the greens has been enough to draw spectacular crowds.

Tiger has a longstanding expectation of winning— he once said that he would never enter a golf tournament that he did not believe that he could finish on top of.

When asked by a reporter earlier this week if he believed he could win, Woods simply responded “I do.”

Championship chances

The Masters is one of four major championships in professional golf; it is the first major of the year and is held at Augusta every year.

Tiger Woods has won five Masters tournaments, most recently finishing on top in 2019. This broke a 14-year stretch and cemented a remarkable turnaround in his career after controversy and personal issues had limited his success on the course.

As incredible as his victory was, his latest attempt could be his greatest challenge yet. The “GOAT” of golfing has been dealt another physical blow, faced more time away, and will not have any warm-up matches before the Masters.

Still, Woods feels that he is in the right place at the right time.

“I can hit it just fine,” Woods said. “I don’t have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint. It’s now walking is the hard part. This is normally not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the conditions that my leg is in, it gets even more difficult. You know, 72 holes is a long road, and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for.”

Woods will tee off on Thursday at 10:34 a.m. with South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann. Last year’s champion, Hideki Matsuyama, will be in the group behind Woods’.

Tiger has +4800 odds of winning the event, the 22nd-best of the field of golfers. John Rahm leads the list with +1200 odds.

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