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With The Masters approaching, speculation that Tiger Woods could be teeing it up at Augusta National next week is growing – seemingly by the hour.
Earlier, it was reported that Woods’ plane had landed at Augusta Regional Airport, with suggestions that the 46-year-old planned to use his time in the area on a scouting mission at the course ahead of the first Major of the year. That news followed the emergence of a video clip showing Woods hitting a drive at South Florida’s Medalist Golf Club recently. That was swiftly followed by the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis declaring that Woods would “exhaust every effort” to play. Meanwhile, all of this speculation came from Woods’ name appearing in the field for the 2022 Masters, even at this advanced stage.
Now, Twitter account JustinThomasTracker has added to the increasingly fevered speculation with a post saying that Woods has been at Augusta National alongside Thomas and Wood’s son, Charlie. That information was given further credence by PGA Tour short-game coach James Ridyard, who simply said: “I can confirm TW is playing Augusta National today.”
🚨 JT is at Augusta National today alongside of Tiger & Charlie. 👀👀👀 #TheMasters Via @BobHarig.March 29, 2022
If Woods really has been hitting some balls at Augusta National, he appears to be following in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy, who has also reportedly undertaken a scouting trip to Augusta National ahead of next week’s tournament and his appearance at this week’s Valero Texas Open.
It’s not surprising Woods would be accompanied by son Charlie on any scouting trip. Woods Jr is a potential star of the future, and the father-and-son duo teamed up for the PNC Championship last December, finishing runners-up at the event. It’s unclear exactly what Thomas’s involvement is in the visit, although it’s well-known that they are close friends. Indeed, Thomas gave an update on Woods’ recovery progress last November following his injuries in a car accident earlier that year. Speaking to No Laying Up at the time, Thomas said:
"He doesn’t strike me as a guy that’s going to play at home shooting a bunch of 75s and 76s and he’s like, 'All right, I’m gonna go give Augusta a try this year.’ That’s just not gonna be him. I think he knows that there’s a pretty good chance that might be the last chance he really ever had before that of kinda making another run. But at the same time, I know how determined he is. I know he’s gonna want to at least try to give something again. Obviously, I hope he does.”
If the evidence that Woods is doing all he can to make it to next week’s event continues to grow, we can only assume that, far from “shooting a bunch of 75s and 76s,” Woods’ progress has been significantly more encouraging than that. We’ll know more in the coming days. However, with today’s developments, there are encouraging signs that Woods is making every effort to attend far more than just the Champions Dinner next week.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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