Tiger Woods has dismissed his previous comebacks after surgery as pipedreams and says that he is, indeed, a 'walking miracle'.
The four-time Masters champion, now 42, makes his first appearance at Augusta National since 2015 on Thursday morning at 10.42am.
Woods has had three procedures since September 2015, including spinal surgery in late April last year.
But his return this year has taken most people by surprise, including him.
“The reason why I say I’m a walking miracle is that I don’t know if anyone who has had a lower back fusion that can swing the club as fast as I can swing it. That’s incredible. Some guys have said, ‘Yeah, I need to fuse my back so I can hit it harder’. No, you don’t want to go through that.
“But that’s why I say that. It is a miracle,” said Woods, a reference to a quote on his website, where he described himself as a 'walking miracle'. “I went from a person that’s had a hard time getting up, walking around, sitting down, anything, to now swinging the club - you saw it at one of the Trackman’s – 129mph. That is a miracle, isn’t it?”
Woods was asked about a potential victory this week and where that would ‘rank’ in terms of sport’s greatest ever comebacks.
“I have four rounds to play, so let’s just kind of slow down,” he said.
The 42-year-old was asked repeatedly about how he could possibly be in this position considering all the injury problems he’s had in recent years. And he was refreshingly honest about his previous comebacks, describing them in hindsight as a “pipedream”.
“Giving how I feel now, versus then, this is night and day,” he said. “Now I’m walking the course and hitting shots, it’s hard to think it’s less than a year since my back surgery.
“I feel great. I feel like I’ve put a lot of pieces together and I feel fantastic. Now it’s just a matter of posting numbers. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”