The world of golf has been thrown into a frenzy by the possibility Tiger Woods might play the Masters.
Woods has not played a competitive round of golf since he was involved in a near-fatal car crash last year, other than the PNC with his son Charlie in December.
As recently as February the 15-time major winner admitted he didn’t have a timescale for his return to the tour, although he insisted he would be back.
But after playing a practice round at Augusta last week, he has returned vowing to make a definitive decision on whether to make his long-awaited comeback.
With question marks still hanging around him, we answer some of the most frequently-asked…
Is Tiger going to play?
We don’t know for sure – but it looks increasingly likely. Sources, including other pros, say he’s been working incredibly hard in order to be ready. He’s been seen practicing at Medalist, a well-known pre-Masters stop, and visited Augusta last week. He tweeted on Sunday promising a “game-time decision”.
Why is it such a big deal?
Quite simply, he is the biggest attraction in golf. He has 15 majors, five green jackets and is arguably the greatest to ever play the game. He also nearly died and almost lost his leg in a car crash just over a year ago, so the fact there is even a possibility of him playing is incredible.
Those aren’t Nikes…
Tiger Woods wore FootJoy shoes for his Augusta practice session. pic.twitter.com/isHtBST45E
— bunkered (@BunkeredOnline) April 4, 2022
Isn’t he taking up a place in the field by delaying his decision?
In a word, no. Unlike regular tour events, there are no alternates for the Masters, which is an invitational event. That means that if someone withdraws, like Harris English did last week, they are not replaced in the field.
Can he contend, or is he there to make the numbers up?
He’s Tiger Woods. Would he turn up if he didn’t think he could win? Footage from his practice sessions showed him moving well, and multiple sources claim he is in extremely good shape. The official Masters site gives him a projected score of 77 for round one – but don’t be surprised in the slightest if he surpasses those expectations.
What about his equipment?
As far as we know there are no surprises in the bag. But he was pictured wearing FootJoy shoes, which is something of a shock given he is sponsored by, and inextricably linked with, Nike. That could be for reasons of comfort, given his leg injury, or he may have signed a yet-to-be-announced deal.
When will we find out if he’s playing?
Tiger will face the media on Tuesday, and all the signs point to a definitive announcement either way being made at that point.