Tiger Woods Arrives At Augusta To Begin Masters Preparations

Five-time Masters champion Tiger Woods went chipping and putting at Augusta National to start his tournament prep

Woods chats with his caddie during a practice round at The Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Any lingering questions of whether Tiger Woods will be featuring at The Masters this year were put to bed on Sunday when he arrived at Augusta National for an initial prowl around the property.

The five-time Green Jacket winner made a low-key entrance down Magnolia Lane and began some targeted practice ahead of what will be his 25th Masters appearance.

Woods has had two of the most remarkable appearances of his career at Augusta, winning in 2019 and perhaps an even greater achievement in playing all four rounds last year on his return to competitive golf while still dealing with his horrific leg injuries.

The 47-year-old is still struggling to actually get around the golf course, but he is convinced he can still play all the shots - and one place where he feels he can still challenge is around the familiar surroundings at Augusta.

The 15-time Major champion arrived just after 3pm on Sunday and spent 45 minutes on the range, according to the Masters official website - hitting alongside Jason Day before having a chat with Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.

Woods then went out on the course with just a selection of wedges and his putter - opting against the stress and strain of the long game and focusing on chipping, pitching and putting which can be so crucial in the first Major of the year.

Still walking with a noticeable limp, Woods' big challenge this week is to get in enough preparation without putting too much strain on the damaged leg and ankle that requires so much treatment to get him through a tournament.

With the hills of Augusta one of the toughest walks in golf, it will be some effort if Woods can not only play well enough to make the cut again as he somehow did last year, but also manage his body well enough to be able to complete the week.

However, having been last seen at The Genesis Invitational in February, the American was encouraged by the progress he made at Riviera. 

Speaking at the time, he said: "It's progress, headed in the right direction, yes. It certainly was a little bit more difficult than I probably let on. My team has been fantastic in getting my body recovered day to day and getting me ready to play each and every day."

It comes as no surprise that the American will feature at Augusta National, as he is listed on the interview schedule at the Masters for Tuesday 4th April, alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and defending champion Scottie Scheffler.

Tiger will be making his 25th career start at the Masters this week, as he looks to improve on his 47th place finish from last year. In 2022, he fired rounds of 71, 74, 78 and 78.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.