Tiger Woods Eyeing 2023 Return To Golf - Source

The 15-time Major champion is said to be aiming to play in next year's Masters

Tiger Woods, winner if the 2019 Masters, is said to be aiming to make his return at the 2023 event
(Image credit: Getty Images)

 

Tiger Woods is said to be planning to return to golf in 2023, with his target to make his comeback at the Masters in April next year. The 15-time Major winner has been out of action since a serious car crash in February 2021, but a source told People.com that Tiger is now almost pain free and is determined to get back to competitive golf.

Woods has not played on the PGA Tour since November 2020’s Masters, with his last victory coming in the same tournament in 2019. Having previously referred to that win as “that last Major”, it seems now Tiger’s ambitions are growing again.

“He's aiming for the 2023 Masters Tournament," said People.com’s source. “And he has a new goal: to be the oldest winner at the Masters. Jack Nicklaus won when he was 46. Tiger will be 47 next year when he competes, and that's the newest record he is going for. He'll stop at nothing to accomplish it.

“He's golfing, he's practicing, he's really working on the sport and he's very determined to return to the game as soon as it makes sense. He has physical therapy, but he's got an almost full range of motion. He has really overcome a lot of his injuries. His pain has gone down tremendously. He has moments, but he's really not in a lot of pain anymore. The pain he has can be managed.”

In November, Tiger made his first public appearance since the crash, teaming up with son Charlie to take part in the PNC Championship. They finished second, behind John Daly and his son, but rather than use that as a springboard to come back, Woods instead talked of the pain he had suffered and how fortunate he felt just to be able to walk, and to have not lost a leg.

"I'm lucky to be alive and still have the limb," he said at the PNC Championship. "Those are two crucial things. I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me and I'm able not only to be here but also walk without a prosthesis."

Woods said then that it was unlikely he'd ever be able to return to the PGA Tour as a full-time player, but admitted he did hope to play the odd tournament at the highest level.

He said: "I don't foresee this leg ever being what it used to be, clock’s ticking, I’m not getting any younger. A full schedule, a full practice schedule and the recovery, no I don’t have any desire to do that.

"There’s no reason why I can’t do that [play in a PGA Tour event again]. I may not be tournament sharp, I know the recipe for it. I've just got to get to a point where I can feel comfortable enough where I can do that again.”

Now - at least according to People.com’s source - it seems Tiger’s ambitions have moved up a gear, and he’s working towards making his comeback in Augusta. And People.com’s source says Tiger will emerge from adversity even stronger.

“Tiger was known for his focus before, but now he's learned to focus through terrible pain," People’s source added. “And now that the pain has mostly faded, that focus is still there. He's going to be a force when he returns to the game. He's going to dominate.”

Woods was recently inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame, where his 14-year-old daughter Sam gave a tear jerking speech on her father’s ups and downs, and especially his battle to recover from the car crash. Justin Thomas, one of Tiger’s closest friends on the Tour, revealed in December that Woods was on the road to recovery, and that spending time with Sam and Charlie, 13, was helping. Thomas told the No Laying Up podcast in December: “He's doing well, especially all things considered. He's able to be a dad somewhat again, which is most important.

Jeff Kimber
Jeff Kimber

Jeff graduated from Leeds University in Business Studies and Media in 1996 and did a post grad in journalism at Sheffield College in 1997. His first jobs were on Slam Dunk (basketball) and Football Monthly magazines, and he's worked for the Sunday Times, Press Association and ESPN. He has faced golfing greats Sam Torrance and Sergio Garcia, but on the poker felt rather than the golf course. Jeff's favourite course played is Sandy Lane in Barbados, which went far better than when he played Matfen Hall in Northumberland, where he crashed the buggy on the way to the 1st tee!