Apr 5, 2022, 03:19 PM ET
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AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Let the Tiger Watch begin.
Tiger Woods wasn't ready to officially say on Sunday that he'll play in the 86th Masters, which is scheduled to begin Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club. But in a statement on Twitter, Woods did say that he would be arriving here Sunday to continue practicing and preparing to play. Later Sunday, he showed up at Augusta National to get some practice in.
Woods, a five-time Masters champion, said it will be a "game-time decision." It would be his first appearance in a regular PGA Tour event in more than 17 months, after he was seriously injured in a car wreck outside Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021. He said doctors nearly had to amputate his right leg.
2022 MASTERS: TEE TIMES, TELEVISION COVERAGE AND MORE
Woods' first Masters victory was almost 25 years ago, on April 13, 1997.
After getting his prep work in Tuesday morning, Woods came to the interview room and made it (nearly) official.
"As of right now, I feel like I am going to play," he said during a 20-minute question-and-answer session.
Woods has not played a competitive round of golf since the 2020 Masters at Augusta National. He has won this event five times, most recently in 2019. He will find out later Tuesday when he will play when the tee times are released.
And, in case anyone was wondering, he is here to win.
So, about those shoes ...
Woods offered an explanation as to why he's wearing FootJoy golf shoes -- and not Nikes -- at Augusta National Golf Club this week. He's still wearing Nike shirts, pants and hats on the course.
"I have very limited mobility now," Woods said. "Just with the rods and plates and screws that are in my leg, I needed something different, something that allowed me to be more stable. That's what I've gone to."
Woods, who has had a relationship with Nike since he turned pro in 1996, said he's still working with the shoe and apparel giant to come up with a long-term solution.
"Nike's been fantastic over the years of providing me with equipment and work, and we've been working on trying to find something to allow me to do this and swing again," he said. "We're still going to continue doing it, and hopefully we'll have something soon."
Hitting his target
One of the great pleasures for any person who plays golf is trying to hit the cart that drives around the practice range picking up golf balls. On Tuesday, Woods was on point.
This will be a light day
A little before 9 a.m. ET, Woods arrived at the tournament practice area at Augusta National. With bad weather approaching and an 11 a.m. date in the interview room, the plan was never for Woods to play any holes. Instead, he'll get in some chipping, putting and range work. Weather permitting, he will play nine holes on Wednesday.
We're talking about more practice
A little after 1:30 p.m. ET, Woods arrived on the practice putting green at Augusta National. He rolled a few there, under the watchful eye of friend and associate Rob McNamara. Then he moved on to the chipping area, with McNamara and caddie Joe LaCava at his side. Then it was on to some full swings.
The plan is for Woods to play nine holes; he went out and played the second nine Sunday afternoon and Monday he is expected to go around the first nine.
— Sir Nick Faldo (@NickFaldo006) April 4, 2022
Tiger just walked out the clubhouse to scenes and atmosphere like you've never seen before 😳😲
Patrons cheering and flocking to cram around the putting green ⛳️
And it's only Monday at @TheMasters 👀
As he did Sunday, Woods showed up in FootJoy golf shoes. This time, he went with a white pair.
After spending an hour working on the range and putting green, Woods headed to the first tee to play the first nine with Justin Thomas and Fred Couples.
Though he had a slight, but noticeable hitch in his right leg as he walked, Woods played well, particularly off the tee and with his irons. Despite the lingering "will he, won't he?" that still hovers, his game looked ready.
The patrons were ready, too. There were shouts of encouragement on every hole.
While he was clearly getting prepared for the 86th Masters and a run at a sixth green jacket, Woods also enjoyed his afternoon alongside two good friends. He was laughing as they played, clapped for good shots from his partners and acknowledged some of the patrons over his nine holes.
What the players are saying
The interview room at the Masters was up and running on Monday. Guess who was the topic of conversation?
Here's what other players had to say about Woods and his possible return this week:
Billy Horschel: "With everything he's gone through, with all the injuries and with all the personal stuff, he's always -- he still has that drive and that fire within him to still play golf. I was talking to a good friend of mine, Mark Noble, he plays for West Ham Football Club over in England, a team I support, and we were FaceTiming each other last night and we were saying, here's a guy who's made butt-loads of money. He's got more money than anyone would need in your life, and after everything he's gone through with the back surgery, before the accident, and now with the car accident coming back, he could have said, you know what, I've done a lot in this game, I don't need to do anything more, but it just shows you how much he loves the game of golf, how much he loves being out here, and how much fire is still within him to play.
"To see him hitting golf balls at Augusta at the Masters, getting ready to play, I don't know if he's playing, I don't know that answer, but to me if I was in his shoes, I wouldn't be doing everything that I am to get ready to try and play this tournament and not play. I think the only reason he's not going to play is if he doesn't feel ready or if there is -- just his foot, leg, back, whatever it may be sort of kicks up and then he just doesn't feel ready to play."
"But there's just another level of buzz to see him and see him play. Shoot, I've thought about it in the past, and I may be on the first tee watching him tee off if my tee time works out and everything just because it's such a special moment."
Brooks Koepka: "I'm happy he's becoming healthier and able to play golf. We need him, the game needs him, everybody needs him, the fans need him -- all that stuff. But, at the end of the day, everybody is just out here competing. I'm worried about myself and I'm sure everybody else is worried about themselves.
"Look, I was in somewhat of his shoes trying last year two weeks after surgery. This place isn't exactly an easy walk. I understand what he's up against. It'll be difficult. But if anybody can do it, it's him."
Webb Simpson: "As a player, we love it. I think we're all Tiger fans. I learned my lesson to never count him out a few years ago when he came -- he's come back so many times from injury. So he's an inspiration to all of us. Even when I hurt my neck earlier this year, I thought about it stinks right now but I can come back, I can make a full recovery, but he had a lot worse injury. I love that he's going to give it a go.
"Any time anybody asks me can Tiger contend, the answer is yes. Just an amazing will inside of him, whether he's hurt or sick or struggling with his golf swing or whatever it is. So it's really cool that he's making this week the push to come back after that car wreck. I hope he tees it up Thursday."
Patrick Cantlay: "Yeah, great to see him. I'm sure he's been preparing hard the last little bit, and living in Jupiter, heard rumblings when I would go to Medalist that he had been out there.
"I think he's a good example of life's not always perfect, and so it's really exciting to see him on his highs. And so I hope that he is able to tee it up this week and play well, and obviously that's the greatest thing for our sport. There's definitely a different feel in tournaments that he tees it up in."
Talor Gooch: "We all know his determination. We all know his competitive nature. We all know this is what he loves to do. So it's not surprising, but it's still surprising at the same time. To know where he came from and obviously what he went through, it's just a testament to his drive and determination.
Everyone wanted a glimpse of Woods when he arrived at Augusta National on Sunday. Cameron Davis was one of the few that saw him up close. Smith played a few holes with Woods on Sunday. On Monday, he talked about it.
"He ended up behind me and just joined up with me because it was a little slow in front of us," Davis said. "Yeah, trying to pick his brain a little bit, but at the same time, just enjoying being in his presence. I've met him a couple times. It was the first time I've played any golf with him."
"That was an enjoyable first go-round here tournament week. No fans or anything, just quiet. I hit with Tiger. It was nice."
The Kobe comparison
Max Homa, a three-time PGA Tour winner, said Tiger Woods' comeback from his serious injuries in a February 2021 car wreck reminds him of late NBA star Kobe Bryant working his way back from a torn Achilles tendon in 2013.
"It reminds me of the documentary 'The Muse' with Kobe Bryant after he pops his Achilles," Homa said Monday. "It's just him picking up marbles with his toes and putting it in, and he's doing it way more than anyone else would do. That's what I imagine Tiger is doing, just like the most reps you possibly can to get ready. It's remarkable really."
After Woods returned from multiple back surgeries and knee injuries, Homa said nothing surprises him about the 15-time major champion -- not even Woods returning to play in a major championship just over 14 months after the wreck. "I'd be surprised if it was anyone else that's ever lived," Homa said. "So, no, I'm not surprised. I am amazed. It is a true testament to his work ethic because we all know what he does on the golf course, how hard he works, and the stories and the legend. But sitting there and doing all that [physical therapy], that's got to be just boring at the very least, let alone hard."
Can Woods contend for a sixth green jacket this week? "Yeah, it's Tiger Woods," Homa said.
Is he here yet?
The buzz about Tiger Woods and the possibility he plays in this Masters was evident during a morning stroll around Augusta National. A few patrons wandering down the right side of the 13th fairway had a lengthy exchange.
"Nobody has seen him yet, right?"
"I heard somebody say they saw Joey [Woods' caddie, Joe LaCava] out getting yardages."
"He's definitely here. Probably going to play later."
There are other players on the course. There are other storylines to consider. But one name -- and one name only -- is dominating this week at Augusta National: Tiger Woods.
Course work begins
Reporters weren't the only ones waiting for Woods at the tournament practice area Sunday.
His caddie, Joe LaCava, was there about an hour before Woods. When reporters tried to pry information from LaCava, he responded, "Not even, 'Hey, Joe, how's your family? How's your health?'"
A few minutes later, Ireland's Shane Lowry, the 2019 Open Championship winner, walked from the parking lot to the practice area.
"I take it I'm not the person you're all waiting for?" he joked to reporters.
Around 2:40 p.m., Augusta National Golf Club officials began to escort patrons out of the area because the course was closed to the public.
Woods showed up about 40 minutes later, wearing a peach Nike shirt, black pants, black shoes and a black hat. He fist-bumped PGA Tour pro Kevin Na and got a hug from Billy Horschel.
As Woods hit nearly a full bag of balls, Sungjae Im, who was working to the right of him in the practice area, kept taking peeks to see how Woods was doing. Canada's Mackenzie Hughes, Max Homa and Jason Kokrak were also in the practice area with him.
Twenty minutes later, Woods was done. He and LaCava, along with Woods' friend and associate, Rob McNamara, were whisked away in a golf cart. He was apparently headed to the course to play; it was closed to the media so it's unclear how much on-course work he planned to put in.
What's with the shoes?
Woods hasn't yet said whether he's actually playing in the Masters, but he has already caused a stir because of what was on his feet in the practice area Sunday.
Woods has had a relationship with Nike since he turned pro in August 1996. But he was wearing black FootJoys, traditional golf shoes, while warming up on Sunday. The last time Woods played in the Masters, in November 2020, he was wearing black Nike shoes.
"Like golf fans around the world, we are delighted to see Tiger back on the course," Nike said in a statement to ESPN. "He is an incredible athlete, and it is phenomenal to see him returning to the game at this level. His story continues to transcend sport and inspire us all. As he continues to retrun, we will work with him to meet his new needs."
Tiger arrives in Augusta
Tracking Woods' plane has become a thing. The letters and numbers on the tail of his private airplane -- 517TW -- were charted all day Tuesday as he worked his way to Augusta. It happened again Sunday after he announced he was headed to the site of the year's first major.
— Eureka Earth® (@EurekaEarthPlus) April 3, 2022
🚨THE GOAT IS BACK🚨
So, tracking his plane is over. Now it is about tracking his steps and swings as Thursday's first round approaches.
So you are saying there's a chance
All week, the will-he, won't-he questions kept coming. Once it was discovered that Woods flew in from Florida, with son Charlie, and played a practice round at Augusta National Golf Club on Tuesday, the speculation started. And with each passing day, the frenzy increased. Finally, on Sunday, Woods provided the first official indication of his thinking,
I will be heading up to Augusta today to continue my preparation and practice. It will be a game-time decision on whether I compete. Congratulations to 16-year-old Anna Davis on an amazing win at the @anwagolf and good luck to all the kids in the @DriveChipPutt.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 3, 2022
- Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the 2023 Masters Tournament.Is Tiger out of the Masters 2022? ›
Woods returned to competition at the 2022 Masters for the first time since suffering severe injuries in a 2021 car crash that nearly cost him his leg. He made the cut and finished in 47th place. He also made the cut in the PGA Championship, only to withdraw after the third round at Southern Hills with a severe limp.Has Tiger ever withdrawn from the Masters? ›
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters before the resumption of the third round because of an injury Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional.What are the odds for Tiger Woods to win the Masters 2023? ›
What are the odds of Tiger Woods winning the Masters? Last year, Tiger Woods recorded a score of 13-over-par and finished 47th. This was the worst score of his professional career at Augusta. In 2023, Woods hopes to bounce back, and his odds are currently set at +6600 (bet $10 to win $670 total) to win it all.Who is favoured to win the Masters 2023? ›
Masters betting odds
Scottie Scheffler : The reigning 2022 Masters champion will be the odds on favorite to repeat in 2023, nearly edging ahead of Rahm and Rory with his consensus Masters odds.
More on the creeping inflation of Masters winner's purses over the decades: Tiger Woods was the first Green Jacket winner to crack the $2 million mark for finishing first. He collected $2,070,000 (before inflation) for winning his fifth Green Jacket in 2019.Why did Tiger drop out of the Masters? ›
Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters on Sunday morning, citing plantar fasciitis, he announced on social media.What did Tiger say after the Masters? ›
Masters 2023: The best pictures from Augusta
Posting on Twitter, Woods said: “I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis. Thank you to the fans and to @TheMasters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!”
The commonly held belief is that most caddies make around $1,500 to $3,000 per tournament. In addition to that, each caddie has a negotiated deal with the golfer to be paid a percentage of their winnings.
Despite the PGA Tour's decision, LIV golfers can still compete in golf's four majors — the Masters, the British Open, the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship — since the organizing bodies that stage them can set their own entry rules, as Front Office Sports previously reported.What does LIV Golf stand for? ›
But you may be wondering: What does the “LIV” in LIV Golf stand for anyway? Maybe to your surprise, “LIV” isn't an acronym. Instead, it's the Roman numeral for the number 54, as NBC Sports reports. The outlet explains each LIV Golf tournament will have 54 holes, 18 fewer than a typical PGA event.Did Tiger Woods make the 2023 Masters cut? ›
AUGUSTA, Ga. —Tiger Woods made the cut at the 2023 Masters and entered the record book in the process. Woods finished his rain-delayed second round Saturday morning and signed for a one-over 73 to make the cut on the number.How did Tiger Woods get hurt at the Masters? ›
Key Background. Woods was badly injured in a February 2021 car crash, when a vehicle he was driving struck a curb and rolled over. Woods nearly lost his right leg because of injuries he sustained from the accident, and underwent significant emergency surgery to repair the limb.What happened to Tiger in the 2023 Masters? ›
Tiger Woods' run at the 2023 Masters is over. “Due to injury, Tiger Woods has officially withdrawn from the Masters after completing seven holes of his third round,” Augusta National announced early Sunday. Woods, in his 25th appearance at the Masters, was 3-over par and just made the cut to play into the weekend.How much are tickets to the Masters 2023? ›
For 2023, those cost $450, but that's still one of the greatest deals in sports. Now, if you still want to go to the Masters but don't win the lottery, there is a secondary market, but it's not cheap. Tickets for practice rounds this year start around $700, and a ticket for Masters Sunday will cost you at least $1,000.Is Rickie Fowler in the 2023 Masters? ›
Unfortunately, Rickie Fowler will not be playing The Masters in 2023. Coming into this past week's Valero Texas Open, Fowler ranked No. 59 in the world, outside of the Top 50 needed to qualify for the field at Augusta. That left the only avenue for him to qualify to be winning the tournament.Who has more master wins than Tiger Woods? ›
An open-ended Augusta National invite
For as long as he lives, or as long as he can physically swing a club, every Masters winner can enter the tournament again every year.
There hasn't been a decision on whether LIV guys will continue to earn points, but for now, if they meet exemption requirements, they'll play each of the majors this year. 18 LIV Tour golfers qualify to play in the 2023 PGA Championship, including previous champions Brooks Keopka, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer.
Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas miss cut at 2023 Masters. Tiger Woods makes it to Round 3.How do pro caddies get paid? ›
A golf caddy on the PGA Tour will make a weekly base salary and then a percentage of the player's wins. If a golfer is able to win the tournament, the caddie will usually make 10% of the winnings.Do you get to keep Masters jacket? ›
The winners of the Masters get to keep their green jackets for a full year. After the Masters, winners keep their jackets and get to take them wherever they wish for a calendar year. Then they need to return it to Augusta National for the following Masters.How much did Phil Mickelson make from this years Masters? ›
There is solace in the wake of Sunday's final outcome: With his T-2 finish and the $1.584 million Mickelson earned, he claimed an underappreciated record at the Masters: he became the tournament's all-time money leader jumping Tiger Woods.How much money does the Masters winner get? ›
The winning check slowly climbed over the next 18 years, before (you guessed it) Tiger Woods became the first winner to earn $2 million in a win, clearing $2,070,000 in 2019. The purse then increased again in 2022, bumping the winner's share to $2.7 million before the latest increase this year.Who dropped out of the Masters 2023? ›
Aaron Wise has withdrawn from the 2023 Masters to focus on his mental health. The PGA Tour winner made the surprise announcement via Instagram on Friday. "Regretfully I am withdrawing from the Masters today," Wise wrote in a statement.Is Phil Mickelson playing in the Masters 2023? ›
Masters 2023: Phil Mickelson astounds with 65 at Augusta National, turning back clock with historic finish. Well, Phil Mickelson did try to tell us. Half-heartedly saying to the press Friday that he was "about to go on a tear," Mickelson did just that on Sunday at the 2023 Masters.Was Tiger Woods in pain? ›
Masters 2023: The best pictures from Augusta. Tiger Woods admitted he was in “constant” pain during his opening round at The Masters on Thursday. The 47-year-old could be seen wincing at various points across a turbulent start, carding a two-over 74 on his 25th appearance at Augusta National.How many more Masters will Tiger play? ›
Woods said after finishing T45 at Riviera that he wants to play something around five to seven times a year. "Like I told you guys last year, I'm not going to play any more than probably the majors and maybe a couple more," said Woods. "That's it, that's all my body will allow me to do.What did Earl Woods say to Tiger? ›
"Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity … I don't know exactly what form this will take, but he is the Chosen One. He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people.
Yes, caddies still get paid even if their player misses the cut. Typically, caddies and their players agree on their base pay for the week.How much did Jordan Spieth make at the Masters? ›
Tiger Woods' caddie typically earns a five to 10 percent share of his golfer's earnings, according to Golf Week. A caddie can earn between $1,500 and $2,500 per week during golf tournaments, Forbes reports.How much did each golfer get for Liv? ›
The winner at the Grange Golf Club this week will make $4 million as an individual. Each of the ensuing top-four golfers will also make upward of $1 million: The second-place finisher will win $2.125 million; the third-place finisher will win $1.5 million; and the fourth-place finisher will win $1.05 million.Why did the Masters allow Liv players? ›
"It really was to keep the focus on the competition." While LIV golfers are banned from the PGA Tour, the Masters, like the other majors, has opened the door to those who qualify.How many Liv golfers are at Masters? ›
One of the biggest question marks leading up to the Masters surrounded the group of PGA Tour defectors teeing it up in the first major of the year.Did Rory McIlroy go to Liv? ›
Rory McIlroy has admitted that the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf has forced the PGA Tour into change and believes players will benefit from a new-look schedule next season.How long are the Liv contracts? ›
Players who signed four-year deals will be under contract through the 2025 season. LIV has to become profitable before then, but a lack of sponsorships, low TV ratings and waning interest in the novelty from 2022 to 2023 cast doubt on that.How many Liv golfers made the cut? ›
— LIV golfers are having another solid showing at a major. Of the 16 golfers from the Saudi-backed league playing in the PGA Championship, 11 made the cut, which is one fewer than the Masters.Did Phil make the cut at the Masters? ›
A dozen LIV players made the cut with Koepka, Mickelson, Reed and Niemann finishing under par.
This condition is commonly seen in runners and people who regularly wear unsupportive shoes. Woods is not the only athlete who has struggled with plantar fasciitis.How bad is Tiger's back? ›
Woods has suffered from pain in his lower back, known as the lumbar spine, and had discectomy surgery to relieve a pinched nerve in 2014. A discectomy removes a small piece of a vertebral disc that is pressing against pain-causing nerves. This surgery does not affect range of movement.Why did Tiger Woods withdraw from the third round? ›
Tiger Woods withdraws from Masters because of past injury. AUGUSTA, Ga. — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters before the resumption of the third round because of an injury Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional.Has Tiger Woods missed the Masters? ›
Woods was still an amateur, so he's never missed the cut at Augusta as a professional. The cut at the Masters in 2023 is the top 50 players and ties following the second round, which Woods was within after finishing his second round on Saturday.Has Tiger missed Masters? ›
The five-time Masters champion, Tiger Woods, has never missed the cut as a professional in his 23 appearances. He played the Masters twice as an amateur and in 1996 was unable to make the cut shooting 75-75 on Thursday and Friday.Who has the best chances to win the Masters 2022? ›
Masters 2023: Hater extraordinaire puts $222K on Tiger to NOT win at Augusta National. Let's be honest for a second: Tiger Woods will not win the 2023 Masters.What are Tiger Woods chances of winning? ›
|Tiger To Win||+6600|
Are LIV Golfers Allowed to Play in the Masters? Yes, LIV golfers can play in the Masters. While they are barred from PGA Tour events, the Masters is a major and not a PGA Tour event. That means LIV golfers are eligible to participate in the Masters as well as The Open, US Open and PGA Championship.How much did everyone win at Masters 2022? ›
Last year, Scottie Scheffler took home $2.7 million out of the $15 million purse for winning the 2022 Masters. This year, the purse is $18 million with the winner at Augusta National collecting $3.24 million.
- Jon Rahm: +750.
- Scottie Scheffler: +900.
- Rory McIlroy: +1000.
- Brooks Koepka: +1200.
- Jordan Spieth: +1400.
- Patrick Cantlay: +1800.
- Xander Schauffele: +2000.
- Collin Morikawa: +2000.
Caesars lists Jon Rahm as the 10-1 favorite in its latest 2022 Masters odds, with Justin Thomas right on his heels at 12-1. Scheffler (16-1) Cameron Smith (16-1), 2020 Masters winner Dustin Johnson (18-1), McIlroy (20-1) and Koepka (20-1) are among the crowded list of 2022 Masters contenders.Who do they think will win the Masters? ›
Scottie Scheffler is the 13-2 favorite in the latest 2023 Masters odds from Caesars Sportsbook. He's followed by Rory McIlroy (15-2), Jon Rahm (8-1), Cameron Smith (14-1), Jordan Spieth (14-1) and Justin Thomas (15-1). We simulated the 2023 Masters 10,000 times, and there are some MAJOR surprises.Did Tiger Woods make the Cut 2023 Masters? ›
Tiger Woods tracker at Masters 2023: Five-time champion makes cut but withdraws before Round 3 concludes - CBSSports.com.How long can Tiger play in majors? ›
Can he play the majors? Woods won the Masters and PGA Championship four times each and can thus play in both events for the rest of his golfing life.Who has more wins than Tiger Woods? ›
Jack Nicklaus has won the most majors, achieving 18 victories during his career. Second on the list is Tiger Woods, who has won 15 majors to date; his most recent major victory was at the 2019 Masters. Walter Hagen is third with 11 majors; he and Nicklaus have both won the most PGA Championships with five.What was Tiger Woods biggest win? ›
The biggest margin of victory in a golf major championships was achieved by Tiger Woods (USA), who won the 2000 US Open by 15 shots. He finished with a round of 67 to add to rounds of 65, 69 and 71 for a 12 under par total of 272.How long was Tiger Woods number 1 in the world? ›
Tiger Woods has spent the most consecutive weeks (281) and most total weeks (683) at the top of the rankings, and Tom Lehman the fewest total weeks, having spent just a single week at the top in April 1997.