Woods’ most recent TOUR start took place during the COVID-rescheduled Masters in November 2020, before suffering a serious injury to both legs in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles in February. It was unknown if he would be able to walk again and it was feared that his right leg would have to be amputated. An extensive rehabilitation led to Woods teaming up with son Charlie for a second-place finish at the PNC Championship last December, his first action in front of cameras since the accident.
“My hope for Tiger throughout this process was just that he would be able to play golf again,” said North, a two-time US Open winner. “That he could go out and play golf and enjoy his time with Charlie and (daughter) Sam on the golf course as a father, not the former number 1 player in the world. Not as the best player ever, but as a father.”
However, the challenge of running four rounds of competition at Augusta National, in addition to the necessary practice and preparation, cannot be underestimated. North called Augusta National “the last place you thought he could play.”
“If he plays golf, where do you think he would play?” said North. “I’d say maybe at The Open Championship in St Andrews, because it’s flat, it’s an easy walk.”
But Woods is not your standard competitor. The 82-time TOUR winner returned from a melted back to win the 2019 Masters. He won the 2008 US Open with a torn ACL.
A trip to Augusta suggests he wants to participate next week. If so, it’s hard to rule him out.
“Ben Hogan was as tenacious a competitor as they’ve ever been,” said Strange of the man who won six majors after being seriously injured in a car accident in 1949. “And Tiger Woods is right there with him.”