Tiger Woods’ Augusta trip fuels Masters intrigue: ‘I think he plays’

Will he or received’t he?

Speculation that Tiger Woods will tee it up in subsequent week’s Masters continues to warmth up, significantly after he performed 18 holes at Augusta National on Tuesday, according to an ESPN report. He was joined by his son, Charlie, in addition to Justin Thomas.

Woods’ agent didn’t reply to a textual content message from The Post looking for remark. Others, nonetheless, indicated they imagine the 15-time main champion will certainly play subsequent week.

“I think he plays,” one supply who is aware of Woods effectively instructed The Post. “The cardinal sin would be to be surprised by anything he does. He’s not going to [Augusta] just to be seen.”

Another participant, who didn’t want to be recognized, additionally believes Woods will attempt to give it a go.

“I think it’s a possibility; why not test it out [by playing a practice round]?” the participant stated. “He wouldn’t go out there if he wasn’t serious.”

Early Tuesday morning a number of plane-tracking websites famous that the five-time Masters champion’s jet had traveled from South Florida, the place Woods resides, to Augusta, Ga. Those similar websites additionally captured his airplane departing early Tuesday night. There had been different indicators, too, that he might attempt to play within the yr’s first main.

A video surfaced over the weekend that confirmed Woods enjoying at his dwelling course, Medalist, in Hobe Sound, Fla., the place he was joined by caddie Joe LaCava. Woods was additionally listed on the match’s entry listing final week and his identify remained there as of Tuesday night.

Golf
Tiger Woods
USA TODAY Sports

Woods, 46, hasn’t performed in a PGA Tour occasion since sustaining a number of critical accidents in a single-vehicle crash exterior Los Angeles simply greater than 13 months in the past. The accident resulted in a number of surgical procedures to his proper leg, together with on his decrease leg and ankle.

“He’s gonna tee it up, I think,” former tour professional Colt Knost stated on The Drop Zone podcast on Tuesday. “Hearing [his caddie] Joe LaCava’s been down in South Florida, he’s been playing Medalist and walking — I know Joe and Tiger are close, but I don’t see Joe flying down to Florida just to carry his bag and hang out.”

The greatest query surrounding Woods’ resolution is whether or not his surgically repaired proper leg can stand up to the hilly Augusta National course.

“It’s not a function of his swing,” stated one coach. “It’s whether he can handle going up and down the course. You have to be a billy goat to get around there.”

In December, Woods did play the 36-hole PNC Championship — an unofficial match through which Woods used a cart — in Orlando with Charlie. Two months later on the Genesis Invitational, he remained noncommittal about his return however did say he had seen vital progress because the PNC.

“I’m a lot stronger than I was then, I’m able to hit more shots,” Woods stated on the time. “I can play weekend-warrior golf, that’s easy. But to be able to be out here and play, call it six rounds of golf, a practice round, pro-am, four competitive days, it’s the cumulative effect of all that. I’m not able to do that yet. I’m still working on getting to that point.”

Unlike common PGA Tour occasions, there is no such thing as a deadline for committing to play within the Masters. Woods can wait till subsequent week earlier than making a last resolution.

It has additionally been his M.O. at occasions to not commit till the final minute. In 2015, when coming back from a two-month absence due to a foul again, Woods’ airplane was likewise noticed on the Augusta airport main as much as the Masters earlier than he introduced on the Friday earlier than match week his resolution to play. Woods then missed the Masters every of the subsequent two years and each occasions introduced his withdrawal additionally on the Friday earlier than these tournaments.

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