Tiger Woods appears set to play at the Masters next week despite not officially confirming his participation, after the golf legend was included on a pre-tournament interview schedule. Tournament officials gave a massive indication that Woods is set to play when it was announced on Friday that the 47-year-old was slotted into an 11am media session at Augusta National on Tuesday.
The 15-time major winner has made it clear that his competitive career will now be limited to a handful of events per year, with the majors his main priority. Woods suffered devastating leg injuries in a car crash in February 2021, which left him fearing his right leg would be amputated.
And while he hasn’t confirmed his participation at the Masters, the pre-tournament interview schedule appears to suggest he will be playing. Woods has also been listed in the field on the Masters website, while previous stating he wants to play all four majors this year.
Unlike events on the PGA Tour, which finalise fields on the Friday afternoon before tournament week, the Masters has no commitment deadline for players. Woods played just nine rounds of top-level competition in 2022 and finished 47th at the Masters. He withdrew after carding a third-round 79 in the US PGA Championship and then missed the cut in the 150th British Open Championship at St Andrews.
Speaking in December, Woods said: “My goal is to play the major championships and one or two more. Physically that’s all I can do. I don’t have much left in this leg.”
Woods revealed he had to undergo two additional surgeries in 2022 following the accident, although he declined to discuss specifics of the operations. He also admitted it’s still a challenge to practice enough to be competitive while preserving his health.
“How hard do you push it to make progress while not pushing it too hard to go off the edge and you set yourself back two, three days,” he said. “I’ve had a few setbacks during the year that I still was able to somehow play through.”
Cameron Smith fires back amid LIV Golf storm
Meanwhile, Aussie star Cameron Smith has rubbished suggestions he and his fellow LIV golfers won’t be a threat at the Masters. Some have questioned whether the LIV stars will be able to match the PGA Tour golfers at Augusta due to the level of play in the breakaway league.
“There’s a lot of chatter going around about ‘these guys don’t play real golf anymore’. And I think it’s B.S. to be honest. And we just want to show people that,” the World No.5 and 2022 Open champion said after his pro-am round at the LIV Golf International Orlando in Florida.
Suspended from the PGA Tour due to his defection to LIV, Smith has only played three events of a so-far modest year. However the Aussie is backing himself to once again excel at Augusta National, where the 29-year-old boasts a supremely consistent record.
“Obviously first and foremost for me, I’m trying to go there and play the best golf I can,” said Smith, one of 18 LIV golfers set to play up at the Masters. “It’s important for us to go there, really show a high standard of golf which we know we’re all capable of.
“Most of us will get four cracks at (the majors) this year and hopefully we get maybe a win out of it. Maybe we just show a really hearty effort.”
Source : YahooSport