'It's Still Too Early' - Tiger Woods Undecided On Masters Comeback

A source close to Tiger Woods has said 'it's still too early' to decide his 2022 Masters status

Tiger Woods smiles during interview at the Genesis Invitational
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Golf fans haven’t seen Tiger Woods tee it up in a sanctioned event since finishing T38 at the Masters two years ago. Despite that, a spokesperson close to Woods is said to have informed Doug Ferguson (the Associated Press) that: “It is still too early for Woods to decide on his 2022 Masters status.”

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The Masters’ official website has listed the field for this year’s tournament and among the names of 15-past champions not participating was that of Phil Mickelson. To many, this was not surprising given a chaotic few months which has culminated in him taking a sabbatical from the game.

What was surprising was to see the name of ‘Tiger Woods’ not included on that list. Woods appeared in good spirits at the Genesis Invitational when he made an appearance in Los Angeles to host the tournament but did admit a return to competitive golf was still some way off.

“I can still play, but I’m in a cart. Being a weekend warrior is easy, that’s not that hard. Hit your ball, hop in a cart, ride, barely step out of the cart, grab your club and hit the next one. And the longest walk you have is probably from, what, the cart to the green and back. I can do that, that’s not that hard, but walking a golf course, that’s a totally different deal," he said. The 46-year old added: "I’ve got a long way to go.”

Despite Woods’ reluctance to commit to a return any time soon, there have been signs he’s getting closer, most recently last December, when he played a semi-competitive round with his son Charlie at the two-day PNC Championships and almost won the event, eventually losing by two strokes to John Daly and his son, John Daly II.

When asked about his prospects of playing in April’s Masters Par 3 contest, Woods was equally non-committal, saying: “It’s the competitive nature, how much that takes out of you mentally, physically, emotionally. I haven’t prepared for any of that. Going for a walk, I can do that. Am I going to be sore? Hell, yeah, but I can do that. Whether I do that or not, I don’t know.”

Augusta National is renowned for its undulations which will make navigating the course difficult for Woods and if the tournament is disrupted by weather delays in a similar manner to that of the Players Championship, participating, let alone competing, will be increasingly less likely. That said, the revelation of the Woods spokesperson offers a glimmer of hope that we may see him in action.

Woods was initially said to be eyeing a return to competitive golf in 2023 with the Masters said to be his preferred destination, where he will look to overtake Jack Nicklaus as the oldest winner of the tournament. 

James Hibbitt

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.