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the possible return of Tiger Woods ignites the world of golf

It all started with a video that went viral on social networks on Sunday March 27, before being quickly deleted. We see Tiger Woods playing on the course of the Medalist Golf Club (Florida), not far from his home. About ten days before the 86th Augusta Masters, the first of four Major tournaments of the season, which begins Thursday April 7 (until Sunday April 10), these images, which could seem innocuous, have fascinated golf fans across the world.

The canvas was further ignited at the beginning of last week, when many Internet users virtually tracked the flight plan of Tiger Woods’ private jet, before letting their joy explode when the plane landed on Tuesday March 29, where everyone wanted it: in Augusta. If the presence of the Tiger in Georgia was planned for the traditional dinner of champions two days before the tournament, Tuesday April 5, as a five-time winner of the Masters (1997, 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2019), no one imagined that he had taken his clubs in the hold.

Last hint of an imminent return according to fans: he played on the Augusta course with his son Charlie and his friend Justin Thomas, 7th player in the world. “He was there on Tuesday and he’s trying to see what he can do.explained the 8th world Rory McIlroy since the Valero Texas Open, a few days after crossing the American in Augusta. No one but him knows if he can do it and if he believes he can play. I think for golf and the Masters it would be phenomenal to have Tiger (Woods).

On Sunday, he announced on Twitter that he would make his decision at the last moment:I will be heading to Augusta today to continue my preparation and training. It will be a decision at kick-off time, whether I participate in the tournament.” Franceinfo: sport explains to you why the rumor of his return has stirred up the golf world so much in recent days.

He has not played since his serious accident

Since November 15, 2020, Tiger Woods has not played competitively. It was precisely during the 4th round of the Augusta Masters, exceptionally postponed in the fall because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He had taken 38th place in a tournament won by Dustin Johnson. During these almost 500 days without competition, the American experienced the worst: a serious car accident near Los Angeles (California) on February 23, 2021.

The violence of the shock was such that he suffered multiple open fractures of the right leg. He was quickly operated on to insert a metal rod into his tibia and screws to consolidate the bones in his foot and ankle. Last November, he even said that the doctors had thought of amputating him.

Since then, the only competition in which the Tiger participated was an exhibition, in December, where he teamed up with his son. The event took place only on 36 holes (instead of 72 on a professional tournament) and he could use a golf cart (which is prohibited on Major tournaments). “I would like to be able to tell you when I could play again, I would like to know my schedule. You will see me again on the PGA Tour but I cannot tell you when because I have no idea”he said in February at the Genesis Invitational, a tournament organized at the Riviera Country Club and which he is hosting.

He is one title away from equaling legend Jack Nicklaus in Augusta

“I’ve been saying it for a year, if Tiger can walk again, he can win again”, tweeted last week Hank Haney, the former coach of the former world number one. Nobody can know in what state the record holder of victories on the PGA Tour (82, tied with Sam Snead) is currently located, but all his fans can already imagine seeing him put on a sixth green jacket devolved to the winner of the Masters. Moreover, Woods was the player most acclaimed by the bookmakers on the day of his 18 holes on the Augusta course, proof of the hope he raised in the United States (his rating is 50/ 1 while he is ranked 944th in the world).

Only Jack Nicklaus still surpasses him in the history of golf with six victories at the Masters and above all 18 Majors in total, against 15 for Tiger Woods. The 46-year-old golfer, who is currently ranked 944th in the world, is still chasing success at the highest level and time is running out to catch up on the Golden Bear. “He wants to have a chance to winassures the former golfer with eight titles on the PGA Tour, Brad Faxon. I don’t think Tiger Woods will show up until he can.”

He has already made a tremendous comeback in Augusta

The story of Tiger Woods is intimately linked to that of Augusta. This year, the Californian celebrates the 25th anniversary of his first Major victory, here at the Masters in 1997. 22 years later, in 2019, he wrote one of the greatest pages in the history of golf by winning his fifth green jacket, eleven years after his last Major success. “I place this victory at the very top. It is my most beautiful”he said after his coronation.

At the time, Tiger Woods was already coming back from serious injuries. Suffering from the back, the Tiger had been operated on several times and had missed almost two full seasons in 2016 and 2017, not to mention his medication problems. A victory that recalled his last Major, at the 2008 US Open, where he admitted a few days later to having played (and won) with a double stress fracture in the left tibia. All two months after a left knee operation. Tiger Woods is immortal.

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