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Tiger Woods has so far played down rumours he could be planning a comeback at the Masters.

The 15-time major winner hasn’t played on tour since being involved in a major car crash a year ago in which he claimed he nearly lost his right leg. 

But he did tee up alongside son Charlie in the PNC Championship in December, and was seen walking freely at the Genesis Invitational, which he attended as event host. 

Speaking to the media ahead of the tournament he insisted he “didn’t know” when he would make a return, although he was adamant he would. 

• Tiger Woods insists he will make tour return

However, there have been suspicions in some quarters that the 46-year-old is closer to a return than he is willing to admit at this stage. 

And two-time major winner Tony Jacklin believes the former world No.1 could be back at Augusta, the scene of his breakthrough triumph in 1997. 

“It looks to me like Tiger is making good progress,” Jacklin said in an interview with Boylesports.  

“I think personally that he is downplaying a lot of it. He alluded that walking the course is a lot for him right now, but it would not surprise me one bit to see him walking up and down the fairways of Augusta National in early April.  

“That being said, Augusta is deceivingly up hill and down dale so it’d be tough for sure. Tiger has by necessity had to keep a lot of cards close to his chest over the years, but he has such a strong mind that if there’s any way he can be there, he will be.   

• Haney makes amazing Tiger Woods claim

“You can bet your life that if he turns up somewhere, he will have put the time in. He won’t turn up anywhere if he doesn’t think he can win, so I would not be at all surprised to see him rock up on the first tee at Augusta in six weeks time.  

“It’s an opportunity on a course he knows and loves. You have to keep your head around there, and his mental strength is unmatched. So if he can physically walk around there, I think we could see him. I certainly think we will see him at The Open at St Andrews in the summer.” 

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