The Masters 2022: Tiger Woods says, “As of right now, I feel like I am going to play”

On Monday at the Masters there was excitement when Tiger Woods practised, on Tuesday the world celebrated when he confirmed he plans to tee it up on Thursday.

408 days after he was involved in a car accident in California, a smash that threatened his life and his leg, Tiger Woods told the world's media that he plans to tee it up in the first round of the 2022 Masters Tournament.

It was only in November last year that a short video was released showing the 15-time Major winner hitting balls - and even then it seemed outlandish to suppose that he would play on tour again.

He played in December's PNC Championship, a silly season event that granted him the opportunity to play alongside son Charlie - common wisdom argued that surely that was the limit of his ambition?

But word got out that he had recently visited Augusta National in preparation for this week and on Monday he was greeted by ecstatic patrons during practice.

"It was as if Elvis had taken up a guitar and climbed on stage," one observer said of the atmosphere around the clubhouse.

And then, in his press conference on Tuesday, he was expected to remain a little coy about his plans.

Instead, there was no faffing about. "As of right now, I feel like I am going to play," he said.

"My recovery has been good. I've been very excited about how I've recovered each and every day. That's the challenge. It's the recovery, how am I going to get the swelling out and recover for the next day?

"I have another day of nine more holes and then game time."

"I can hit it just fine. I don't have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint.

"Walking is the hard part. This is not an easy walk to begin with. With the conditions my leg is in, it gets a little bit more difficult. Seventy-two holes is a long road. It's going to be a tough challenge and a challenge I'm up for."

Did he think he could win this week, he was asked.

He answered: "I do."

Freddie Couples, who played with Woods on Monday, admitted that he found the situation remarkable.

"This guy, he's just unreal,'' he said. "I don't know the right words.

"It's not shocking because he's the greatest player to ever play. You give him a couple of minutes, you give him a couple of good legs and he swings like this.

"But now comes the hard part of it, and I'm not a guy who is going to guesstimate on that. I watched it and he looked phenomenal.''

Tiger Woods on being back

"It's hard to believe it's been 25 years since I won here, but it's great to be back and be able to feel the energy and the excitement of the patrons again. It was neat to feel that energy out there on the golf course yesterday."

Tiger Woods on the recovery

"I've worked hard. My team has been unbelievable. I've been lucky to have great surgeons and great PTs and physios that have worked on me virtually every day. It's been a tough, tough year and a lot of stuff that I had to deal with that I don't wish on anyone."

Tiger Woods on the leg

"I've had to endure pain before. This is different. This is a lot more traumatic, what has transpired to my leg."

Tiger Woods on his game

"I can hit it just fine. 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."

Tiger Woods on his chances

"I love competing and I feel like if I can still compete at the highest level, I'm going to, and if I feel like I can still win, I'm going to play. If I feel like I can't, then you won't see me out here. You guys know me better than that."

READ MORE: The Masters 2022: Wannabe Master criminal Bryson DeChambeau returns to take on Augusta National

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