With just 17 days left until the start of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, Tiger Woods still isn’t sure whether he’ll be healthy enough to play in the first major of the year.
Woods seemed to finally be healthy late last year when he made his long-awaited return at the Hero World Challenge, and he planned to play an ambitious international schedule through February. Another injury derailed his progress, however, and cast the rest of Woods’ season in doubt.
Woods experienced back spasms after a poor first round at the Dubai Desert Classic and withdrew from the tournament. The issues were fortunately unrelated to the nerve damage that has plagued him, but given that he has not yet returned, the odds of an appearance at the Masters appeared slim to none.
The four-time Masters champion visited Good Morning America Monday and addressed his immediate future:
“God, I hope so. I’m trying. I’m trying everything I can do to be able to get back and play. I love that event. It’s meant so much to me in my life.”
With so little time left to refine his game, though, a return to the Masters even if Woods is healthy might not be the best thing for him. He missed the cut at Torrey Pines in January and clearly needed more time to rediscover his form, yet his physical condition has kept him from being able to put in the practice time.
While millions of golf fans would love nothing more than to see Tiger walking down the fairways of Augusta, a missed cut and two ugly scores would be a whole lot easier to swallow at a course like Harbour Town the following weekend. A comeback at the Masters is a spectacle Tiger simply doesn’t need to deal with right now, when his primary concern should be finishing four consecutive rounds without needing to see a doctor.