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Tiger Woods has admitted he doesn’t know if he will be fit enough to play in April’s Masters Tournament.

The 15-time major champion underwent a fifth procedure on his bothersome back on December 23 after experiencing discomfort earlier in the month whilst playing in the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie.

It had been widely assumed that the 45-year-old would make his return at Augusta National – the scene of arguably his most remarkable victory in 2019 – with Rory McIlroy even going so far as to hint that he might return before that. 

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However, during Sunday’s final round of the Genesis Invitational – a tournament he hosts – Woods was non-committal on his latest comeback.

Asked by CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz if he expects to be at The Masters, Woods replied: “God, I hope so. I’ve got to get there first. A lot of it is based on my surgeons, and my doctors, and my therapists, and making sure that I do it correctly because this is the only back I’ve got and I’m not sure how much more wiggle room I’ve got there.

“I don’t know what the plan is. The plan right now is to just go right ahead and get that MRI and see if the annulus is sealed, if it’s scarred over and then we can start progressing.

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“I’m feeling fine. I’m a little bit stiff. I have one more MRI scheduled so that we’ll see if the annulus has scarred over finally and then I can start doing more activities. But I’m still in the gym, still doing the mundane stuff that you have to do for rehab, the little things, before I can start gravitating towards something more.

Woods added that he has lengthened his putter in a bid to take some of the pressure off his back.

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“I’m not able to bend over as far,” he said. “I’ve gone to the same length as my sand wedge. I do a lot of putting drills hitting the equator [of the ball] with my sand wedge and I figured I might as well just lengthen my putter to the same length. So I did and it helped.”

The 85th Masters Tournament gets underway at Augusta National on April 8.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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