Woods: ‘ I will be at Augusta, either way’
Tiger Woods will attend the Champions Dinner the Tuesday night of Masters week. Teeing it up two days later is still on the table.
The four- time winner of the Masters said Monday during a tour to promote his book The 1997 Masters: My Story that his troublesome back is feeling better and he is working hard to get ready to play in the first major championship. Woods didn’t play the Masters in 2014 and 2016 and tied for 17th in 2015.
“I do have a chance” to play, Woods told USA TODAY Sports in an exclusive interview. “I’mtrying everything I possibly can to get to that point. I’m working on my game. I just need to get to a point where I feel like I’m good enough and I’mhealthy enough to do it. ... I’ve been a part of so manyMasters over the course of my career, I know exactly what it takes to get ready for that event. Now it’s my job to go out there and get ready. I hope I can.”
Woods said he has been practicing but not playing rounds of golf.
“It’s building, but I still have a little ways to go,” said Woods, who has until Thursday of the Masters first round to decide if he can play.
Woods last played in February in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where he opened with a 77 and then withdrew because of back spasms. Woods withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic and did not play in last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he has won a record eight times.
Despite not playing recently, one advantage Woods does have is his knowledge of Augusta National. “Because I know how to prepare for it, and I know the golf course, I know where to miss it, I know where to play from, I know where the advantages are,” he said. “It’s almost like cramming for a final. I know the golf course, I know the subject, I know the material, now I just need to go out there and do it. That makes a big difference, whether or not I would come back and play a U. S. Open or a British Open or a PGA. It’s so much easier coming back for this particular event because I know the golf course.”
Woods said if he can’t play the Masters he remains committed to returning to competitive golf.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I will be at Augusta, either way.”
TigerWoods hasn’t played since February in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where he opened with a 77 and then withdrew with back spasms.