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The round of golf that’s fuelled Masters miracle speculation 

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Golfing legend Tiger Woods has sent the sporting world into meltdown, as footage emerged of him playing 18 holes at Augusta National. Is a miracle return possible?

Five-time Masters champion Woods has not played on the PGA Tour since November 2020 and in February 2021, he was hospitalised and seriously injured after crashing his car in a high-speed, single vehicle accident and needed to be cut from the wreck of his vehicle in California.

As a result of the accident, Woods suffered ‘comminuted open fractures’ to both the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibula in his right leg, as well as damage to the ankle bones and trauma to the muscle and soft tissue of the leg. 

Last month, Woods, who has won 15 Majors and has 82 PGA Tour wins, said he remained unable to commit to a return to professional golf, describing himself as a ‘weekend warrior’ because one of his legs continued to be ‘altered’ from the car crash. 

“It’s altered. My right leg does not look like my left, put it that way,” Woods said.

“I can play weekend warrior golf, that’s easy. But to be able to be out here and play, call it six rounds of golf, a practice round, pro-am, four competitive days, it‘s the cumulative effect of all that. I’m not able to do that yet. I’m still working on getting to that point.”

Rumours surrounding Woods playing in The Masters started when various plane-tracking websites showed a Gulfstream registered to Woods leaving South Florida at about 9am on Tuesday (US time) and the twitter handle ‘Eureka Earth’ showed the private jet on the runway at Augusta’s regional airport.

Video of Woods’ private jet – with his distinctive logo on the tail – surfaced on social media a short time after the golfer and his entourage touched down in Georgia.

Speculation grew when Phil Mickelson was removed from the list of players who plan to compete in The Masters, which starts on April 7.

Woods was still on the active invited players list, and when asked a week ago for guidance on a decision, his agent said it was too early.

At The Masters, players do not have a commitment deadline and because Woods is a previous Masters winner, he benefits from a lifetime exemption and it is up to him to tell Augusta National whether he will compete.

A Sports Illustrated report said a source, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that Woods had arrived at Augusta with his son Charlie, and world number seven Justin Thomas, a close friend, was also with them.

According to sources, 46-year-old Woods played all 18 holes at Augusta National with his son, Charlie, and Thomas.

“He played every one of them,” a source told ESPN. 

“He looked good to me.”

Woods has previously attempted to return to Augusta National after a long layoff and after multiple knee and back surgeries, he won the 2019 Masters, his first major championship in 11 years.

With rumours of another Woods comeback at The Masters spreading like wild fire on social media, fans were getting excited about the prospect of the golfing great making the most unlikeliest of comebacks.

‘If he comes back after this and wins, everyone else should just quit!’, ‘if Tiger Woods announces he’s gonna play The Masters, I am going to cry so hard’ and ‘oh my god Tiger is back – that’s champions step – love you’ were just some of the comments from adoring fans on Twitter.

All will be revealed in the coming days if Woods will be playing at The Masters, in the meantime, fans can continue to dream about seeing the legend back on the golf course soon.

Joel Martelli
Joel Martelli
The only thing that Joel Martelli loves more than football (seriously, we wouldn't be surprised if he has a Wollongong Wolves tattoo) is writing about all things sports. With a Bachelor of Communications and Media Studies Degree specialising in Journalism, he spends his days uncovering breaking athlete news stories and diving deep into play-by-play strategies. We're glad that he's put his passion to the pages of Only Sports as one of our dedicated sports writers.

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