Tiger Woods had the golf world talking like only Tiger Woods can when video footage emerged of the 15-time Major winner enjoying a practice round at Southern Hills on Thursday, venue for next month’s US PGA Championship.
Woods played all 18-holes with his right leg heavily strapped but looked to be swinging sweetly as he stepped up his preparations for another shot at Major glory following his return to competition at the Masters.
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) April 28, 2022
At Augusta, Woods returned after a 14-month absence to play all four rounds, ultimately fading over the weekend but still encouraged, particularly after outscoring so many of the game’s best with an opening round 71 on Thursday before finishing down the field in a share of 47th place.
Woods’ jet arrived to Tulsa on Thursday to check out Southern Hills, a venue the 46-year old is no stranger to having successfully defended his Wanamaker Trophy at the course in 2007. Since that two shot victory, however, Southern Hills has been transformed but Woods had the company of the club’s head pro Cary Cozby for his walk around the site on Thursday, leaving regular caddie Joe LaCava at home as Cozby took over the bag.
Whatever Woods thought of the course, even the fact he opted to walk all 18 holes in practice bodes well for his chances of competing at the May 19-22 event. Woods admitted after the Masters that he would never play a full schedule again and although he fell short of confirming his Southern Hills participation, one suspects Tiger has every intention of taking part in all of golf’s Majors as he looks to reel in Jack Nicklaus’ 18-Major winning record.
“I won’t be playing a full schedule ever again, so it will just be the big events. I don’t know if I will play Southern Hills or not,” he said earlier this month.
Though Woods did confirm that he would be participating in the JP McManus Pro-Am, and the 150th Open.
“I’m looking forward to [The Open Championship] at St Andrews,” he said. “That is something that’s near and dear to my heart, I’ve won two Opens there, it’s the Home of Golf and it’s my favourite golf course in the world. I will be there for that one.”