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Tiger Woods unsure about playing Masters in April: 'I gotta get there first'

Jason Owens
·2-min read

Tiger Woods hasn't played competitive golf since November's COVID-19-delayed Masters won by Dustin Johnson.

After another back surgery, the big question now is if he'll play at Augusta this year. He declined to commit to competing for a sixth green jacket in an interview with CBS' Jim Nantz on Sunday from the Genesis Invitational, which he hosts.

Woods: 'I don't know what the plan is'

“God I hope so," Woods said when Nantz asked if he would play the Masters. "I’ve got to get there first.

"A lot of it is based on my surgeons and my doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got. I don’t have much more wiggle room left there.”

When Nantz asked if he planned to play any warmup events prior to the major scheduled to start on April 8, Woods replied "I don’t know what the plan is."

Tiger Woods hits from the fourth tee during the third round for the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 13, 2019, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
After another back procedure, Woods is unsure of his ability to play at the Masters in April. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Woods coming off fifth back procedure

Woods clearly wants to play. The last time the Masters teed off on on schedule saw witness to arguably the greatest victory of Woods' career. And Woods, sitting three major victories behind Jack Niklaus' record of 18, obviously still wants to pursue his lifetime goal, as infeasible as it may seem at this point.

But the decision's not up to him. It's up to his back. And he had his fifth back surgery on Dec. 23, a procedure called a microdiscectomy to relieve nerve pressure and pain. He said he noticed the discomfort the week prior while playing in the PNC Championship, a glorified exhibition.

Woods has had the same procedure twice before, so he's familiar with the territory. But that doesn't mean he can predict how he'll feel in April.

He told Nantz on Sunday that he's been able to work out and rehab since the procedure, but that he'll need to see the results of an MRI before being cleared for golf activity.

"I have lengthened my putter," Woods said with a chuckle when pressed about his golf activity, while noting that he won't have to bend over as far on the green.

Fans hoping to see Woods in Augusta might not get their wish.

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