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The American arrived in Georgia via his Gulfstream private jet shortly after 9.30am Eastern Time before making the short trip to Augusta National. He then played a practice round with son, Charlie, and close friend and World No.7, Justin Thomas. The golfing world went into a frenzy as the trio enjoyed their round, with many ecstatic at the positive sighting and the promise of a 2022 Masters appearance.
The private jet left Augusta for Florida at 5.47pm; meaning around seven hours practising and scoping the property. Whilst there isn't a formal deadline for Woods to inform Augusta National officials of whether he intends to play or not, with a practice round under his belt and a better understanding of how his body is feeling, one is expected soon.
Woods is said to be exhausting all efforts to make a return to the Masters after being spotted walking Medalist Golf Club prior to his visit. The 15-time Major champion sustained near career-ending injuries in car accident in February 2021, where he later said that he risked losing his leg.
The 46-year old set golfing pulses raising when he appeared at the PNC Championship in December, where he and son, Charlie, finished in second place. Although riding in a golf cart for the 36-hole event, Woods appeared mobile and recorded ball speeds within his normal range.
The American later appeared in Los Angeles at the Genesis Invitational as tournament host. Whilst looking in good spirits, he played down his rehabilitation progress and the likelihood of returning to tournament golf.
"I wish I could tell you when I'm playing again. I want to know, but I don't. My golf activity has been very limited," Woods said.
The five-time Masters champion revealed that was given the go ahead to step up his golf activities since the PNC Championship, but only to a point: “Short game-wise, yes, I can. Long game-wise, no, because that involves more loading, more torquing of the leg, and as I said, walking is something I’m still working on. I can walk on a treadmill all day, that’s easy. That’s just straight, there’s no bumps in the road. But walking on a golf course where there’s undulations, I have a long way to go."
Woods was initially said to be eyeing a return to competitive golf in 2023 with the Masters said to be his preferred destination, where can overtake Jack Nicklaus as the oldest winner of the tournament. Woods will be present at the Champions Dinner on the Tuesday, irrespective of whether he competes or not.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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