A comeback unlike any other for Tiger Woods might start at the Masters.
Just over 13 months since Woods damaged his right leg so badly he said doctors considered amputation, Woods arrived at Augusta National on Sunday afternoon and warmed up on a range where there were more photographers than players.
Woods hit balls for about 20 minutes and then got in a cart and headed to the course, which is closed Sunday afternoon to everyone except players and caddies.
Already a star attraction, the hype over the five-time Masters champion is higher than ever after a violent single-car crash that looked as though it might end his career.
Still to come is the decision on playing.
In a tweet Sunday morning announcing he was coming to Augusta to resume preparations for the Masters, he said it will be a “game-time decision” whether he competes.
The Masters does not have a firm deadline to commit like regular tour events. It is an invitation tournament, and players typically notify the club only if they do not plan to play.
Tee times are published Tuesday.
“Knowing Tiger the way I know him, if he wasn’t totally like … pretty much feel he has a chance to win, he wouldn’t tee it up,” Mark O’Meara said. “The thing about Tiger Woods is usually when everybody thinks he can’t do something, that’s when he does it.”
If Woods decides to play — he played 18 holes at Augusta National five days ago — it would be his first competition against the world’s best players since Nov. 15, 2020, when the Masters was moved to autumn because of the pandemic.
Photographers and media waited at the far end of the viewing area on the range near the caddie house to see when he would arrive. Woods showed up on the other end, shaking hands with defending champion Hideki Matsuyama.
Kevin Na and Billy Horschel were among those who came over to shake hands or hug him. Also on the range were Sungjae Im, Mackenzie Hughes and Jason Kokrak. Sunday afternoon before Masters week is a quiet time most years. Just not this…
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