Woods travels to Augusta boosting hopes of a 26th Masters appearance

Fatiha Betscher

Tiger Woods in his new apparel at Riviera (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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The appearance of Tiger Woods playing a practice round Saturday at Augusta National has boosted hopes of him competing next fortnight in what will be a 26th Masters.

Sports Illustrated reported Woods’ Gulfstream G550 was in the air Saturday flying from the north into Augusta Airport.

Woods was joined on the flight by good friend Justin Thomas before the duo teamed with Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley playing the course.

It is the first occasion the five-time Masters winner has been back to the Georgia golfing gem since withdrawing from the start of the third round in last year’s Masters.

Since then the 48-year-old has played very little tournament golf including his dramatic withdrawal after only six holes of the second round during his February hosting of Genesis Invitational in suburban Santa Monica that we later learnt was down to a bout of the flu.

Woods did play all 18-holes earlier this month alongside Rory McIlroy in the exclusive Seminole Pro-Member outing on the Monday prior the Arnold Palmer Invitational while we understand on Monday March 17th he played a social round with Yasir Al-Rummayan, Governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund on the Albany course in the Bahamas, and on the day he joined other members of the PGA Tour in their discussions concerning the expected merger of LIV Golf with the PGA and DP World Tours.

If Woods does tee-up next fortnight, and as he is now expected to do, and if he also makes the halfway cut he would become the first player in this year’s 88th hosting of the Masters to have made the weeekend rounds on 24 occasions since winning a maiden Masters in 1997.

Currently, Woods is tied with Gary Player and Fred Couples for the most Masters cut and with Woods missing just one Augusta cut and that was in his second showing in 1996.

In returning to competition earlier this year at the Genesis Invitational Woods spoke that his continuing physical struggles would lead to him to probably play just one a month saying: “Once a month seems reasonable. It gives me a couple of weeks to recover and a week to tune up. Maybe I can get into the rhythm.”

Disappointingly, and as we have seen, he’s yet to play a full four tournament rounds heading into the fourth month of the year.


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