Tiger Woods’ status for The Masters 2022, explained and updated

Tiger Woods’ standing for The Masters 2022, defined and up to date

It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen Tiger Woods compete in an expert event, however the {golfing} icon may be able to get again on the course — or possibly not. One of many main tales main as much as The Masters this week is whether or not or not Tiger will play in his first occasion since his horrific February 2021 automobile accident. Whereas realistically no one thinks Woods can win, everybody needs to see him again on the course.

Tiger’s potential return is one thing everybody needs to see. The previous No. 1 continues to be the draw of the golf world, even when he hasn’t held the highest spot since 2014. This has led to a fevered pitch at Augusta as individuals dangle off each heat up, every look, even his footwear to attempt to glean data on whether or not Woods will compete this week or not.

What occurred in his automobile accident?

Early within the morning of February 23, 2021 reports emerged that Woods had been involved in a serious car accident. A single-vehicle crash, Woods was concerned in a rollover during which his SUV ran off the street at a reported 80 miles per hour, near Ranchos Palos Verdes, California.

After leaving the street, Woods’ car rolled down a steep incline, coming to relaxation on the backside of a ditch, resting on its aspect. Emergency personnel needed to take away Woods from the car utilizing the jaws of life, and whereas his accidents weren’t life-threatening, he was transported to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Middle with critical accidents.

The breadth of Woods’ quite a few accidents had been extremely extreme for a professional athlete. He suffered open fractures (generally known as “compound fractures”) to the tibia and fibula in his proper leg and ankle, in addition to structural and smooth tissue injury to his proper ankle.

Talking to the media in November of 2021, Woods detailed how serious his injuries were. He stated the injury to his leg was so intensive that “amputation was on the desk,” although medical doctors had been capable of save his limb by means of surgical intervention.

When did Tiger final compete?

We final noticed Tiger on the course on the father/son PNC Championship in December, when Tiger and Charlie Woods completed second to John Daly and John Daly II — although that was largely a relaxed, pro-am ambiance.

It’s been nearly 18 months since Woods final competed in an expert occasion, coincidentally sufficient at The Masters 2020. Covid delayed the occasion, pushing the Augusta custom from March to November of 2020, and noticed Woods end thirty eighth.

Nonetheless, The Masters have at all times been particular for Tiger. In 2019 he shocked the world by profitable profitable the occasion from lengthy odds. He earned his fifth inexperienced jacket, breaking a tie with Jack Nicklaus and placing him only one away from tying Arnold Palmer for 1st.

Is it sensible to suppose he’ll return?

No, probably not — however it’s right here issues get trickier. The likelihood for Woods’ return has been one thing on the playing cards for this yr, however when requested Woods has downplayed coming again for The Masters 2022.

As recently as Sunday he threw water on rumors he was getting ready to come back this week by saying he was a “game time decision,” however extra notably identified simply how a lot rehabilitation he’s been engaged on, to not play golf, however merely dwell his life.

“I’m nonetheless engaged on the strolling half. My foot was a bit tousled there a few yr in the past, so the strolling half is one thing that I’m nonetheless engaged on, engaged on energy and growth in that. It takes time. What’s irritating is it’s not at my timetable. I need to be at a sure place, however I’m not. I’ve simply bought to proceed working. I’m getting higher, sure. However as I stated, not on the velocity and price that I would really like. You add within the age issue too. You simply don’t fairly heal as quick, which is irritating.”

Woods went on so as to add that any sort of golf observe has been exceedingly restricted. He advised reporters that he has been placing and chipping the ball, declaring that it’s going properly, however that he’s had subsequent to no observe driving the ball or engaged on his lengthy sport.

Nonetheless, rumors swirled — especially when The Masters released a list of former champions who wouldn’t be playing in 2022, with Woods’ name notably off the list. It will appear the door was open for Tiger to make a triumphant return, regardless of all indicators pointing to him nonetheless being a protracted, great distance from returning to competitors.

However he’s in Augusta, proper?

Sure, however it’s essential to not conflate that with “he’s enjoying.” There’s ample purpose for Woods to be concerned in The Masters in some capability apart from enjoying. The Champion’s Dinner has lengthy been an event for winners of the previous to look at Augusta, serving because the de facto social gathering of the yr for skilled golfers.

This additionally marks his first main return to the highlight on the earth {of professional} golf, which suggests Woods might be utilizing his look on the occasion to get the media consideration out of the best way now, so when he is able to get again on the course he received’t be met with the identical degree of scrutiny.

What’s this I heard about his sneakers?

Everyone seems to be clamoring for some signal that Woods may come again, as a result of that’s how a lot individuals need to see Tiger play once more. This additionally occurred Sunday when people noticed he was practicing in FootJoy brand shoes, rather than his signature Nikes.

Advertising themselves as a “extra comfy {golfing} shoe,” Woods sporting FootJoys has prompted hypothesis that he’s extra critical about making an attempt to play than he’s letting on. Altering sneakers could be vital in gentle of his long-term sponsor, although many have taken the swap to FootJoy to imply that he’s searching for some foot aid and luxury that may enable him to stroll comfortably on his surgically repaired leg throughout The Masters.

These rumors appear to have not less than some enamel, with Nike issuing a press release that was supportive of their athlete, however acknowledged their merchandise won’t be fitted to him proper now.

“Like golf followers all over the world, we’re delighted to see Tiger again on the course,” Nike stated in a press release. “He’s an unimaginable athlete, and it’s phenomenal to see him returning to the sport at this degree. His story continues to transcend sport and encourage us all. As he continues his return, we are going to work with him to satisfy his new wants.”

So look, will Tiger play?

Solely Tiger Woods can reply that. Actually, the sense is that he actually, actually needs to return, however he’s simply not there but. The query then pivots as to whether Tiger would take to Augusta understanding his sport is restricted and he won’t be capable of end a spherical, or would he moderately wait till he can return at his finest?

Historical past tells us Woods would sooner skip an occasion than ship a sub-par efficiency, however that is very totally different to his previous accidents. The world would utterly perceive if he can’t play, or is pressured to retire early — and no one has any illusions that Tiger may shock the sector in 2022 and win The Masters.

No matter occurs subsequent, Tiger would be the discuss of Augusta till the event begins on Thursday. If he’s capable of go, the reception he will get at that first tee might be probably the most emotional we’ve ever seen.