Tiger Woods says that "as of right now" he will be teeing it up at the Masters Tournament on Thursday in his first major tournament since suffering serious injuries to his right leg in a car accident 14 months ago.
The golf legend and five-time Masters champion said at a virtual press conference on Tuesday morning that he intends to play at Augusta National this week but will make a final decision after playing nine practice holes on Wednesday.
"As of right now, I feel like I'm going to play," Woods said.
Woods, 46, had tweeted on Sunday that he was heading to the famous course in Augusta, Georgia, to continue his preparation and that it would be "a game-time decision" on whether he would play in the tournament.
Woods last played in December, when he took the course with his son, Charlie, 13, at the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida, which pairs PGA players with family members. The father-and-son duo finished second behind John Daly and his son, John Daly II, who is a freshman at the University of Arkansas.
Woods could be seen limping at times and using a golf cart during the 36-hole scramble.
“I’m just happy and thankful that I’m able to do this,” he said during a press conference at that time. “I still have my own leg, which was questionable for a while, and it’s functioning, and I’m just really tired.”
However, nearly four months after the PNC Championship, he appears ready to play in his first major since the 2020 Masters tournament that was delayed until November due to the pandemic.
Woods also isn't just happy to be there, either. He was asked at the press conference on Tuesday if he believes he can win the tournament.
"I do," he said.
It would be a remarkable feat since doctors considered amputating his right leg after he crashed his SUV down the side of a hill while driving in suburban Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2021. He underwent surgery on his leg to repair open fractures in the tibia and fibula bones, as well as injuries to his foot and ankle.
Woods has undergone arduous rehabilitation since the accident.
“This has been an entirely different animal,” Woods told Golf Digest in May 2021. “I understand more of the rehab processes because of my past injuries, but this was more painful than anything I have ever experienced.”
Now he's on the cusp of facing off against the best golfers in the world, 25 years after he won his first green jacket by obliterating the field by 12 strokes as a 21-year-old for the first of his 15 major titles.
“It’s been a tough, tough year ... but here we are,” Woods said on Tuesday.