'People have no idea how hard it’s been' - Tiger Woods thrilled after electric Masters return

Tiger Woods said just being able to play the Masters this year is a huge achievement after he wowed fans at Augusta.

The 46-year-old was involved in a car accident in February last year, hitting a tree at 75mph.

It left him in hospital for three months and with his career in serious doubt, especially after all his previous battles with a back injury.

When asked by reporters if being able to play at all was a victory in itself, Woods replied: "Yes.

"If you would have seen how my leg looked to where it's at now, the pictures… some of the guys (fellow players) know.

"They've seen the pictures and they've come over to the house and they've seen it. To see where I've been, to get from there to here, it was no easy task.

"I'm very lucky to have this opportunity to be able to play, and not only that, to play in the Masters and to have this type of reception.

"I mean, the place was electric. I hadn't played like this since '19 when I won because in '20 we had Covid and we had no one here, and I didn't play last year.

Tiger Woods tees off at Masters 18th hole Augusta

"So to have the patrons fully out and to have that type of energy out there was awesome to feel."

Woods produced a fine round of 71 on the opening day of the Masters, leaving him just four shots behind leader Sungjae Im.

"People have no idea how hard it's been," he added.

"My team does. They've worked with me every single day. We haven't taken a day off since I got out of the bed after those three months.

"Granted, some days are easier than others. Some days we push it pretty hard, and other days we don't, but always doing something."

Asked how he would recover for Friday's second round, Woods added: "Lots of treatments. Lots of ice baths. Just basically freezing myself to death."

READ MORE: The Masters A to Z: From Anyone can win it to (Fuzzy) Zoeller via Eerie music and Jim Nantz

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