Tiger Woods has given the clearest indication yet that he hopes to enter the Masters next week by playing a practice round at Augusta National.
Woods won the last of his 15 major titles at the Masters in 2019 but has not played a 72-hole tournament since a serious car crash last year.
The 46-year-old reportedly played every hole on the famous course alongside his son Charlie, 13, and world No7 Justin Thomas on Tuesday.
Five-time Masters winner Woods is on the 91-man entry list for the year’s first major, which starts a week tomorrow, but his injury problems left his participation in doubt.
He said he feared his right leg would have to be amputated after suffering open fractures to his tibia and fibula in the January 2020 accident.
Since then he has only played a 36-hole event, the PNC Championship, with his son and had to travel between holes by golf buggy.
Last month he said he did not know when he might be able to return to competition.
“I wish I could tell you when I’m playing again. I want to know, but I don’t. My golf activity has been very limited,” Woods said.
“It takes time. What’s frustrating is it’s not at my timetable. I want to be at a certain place, but I’m not.
“I’ve just got to continue working. I’m getting better, yes. But as I said, not at the speed and rate that I would like.
“You add in the age factor, too. You just don’t quite heal as fast, which is frustrating.”
Woods made his major breakthrough at the Masters in 1997, when he became the tournament’s youngest winner, aged 21, and won by a record margin of 12 shots that has never been matched.
He won further green jackets in 2001, 2002 and 2005 and reclaimed the iconic prize 14 years later amid emotional scenes at Augusta after it had appeared that his major-winning days were long since finished.