Tiger Woods outlined why he chose to return at the recent Masters Tournament during a speech at the event’s champions’ dinner. Woods had not featured on the PGA Tour since suffering severe injuries in a high-speed car crash in Los Angeles 14 months prior.
The severity of the accident led to worries that arguably golf’s greatest-ever player would never compete again, however after an extensive rehabilitation the 15-time major winner made a fairytale Augusta comeback. Three weeks on from his return, fellow legend Jack Nicklaus has revealed the thought process behind Woods’ decision.
Nicklaus told PGA Tour radio that Woods addressed his fellow champions on his plans when at the Masters dinner prior to the event. Woods is believed to have said: “Why in the world would I wait a year to play if I know I’m gonna hurt both years?
“Why don’t I just get back and start playing and just suck it up.” Despite being back out on the golf course he is still feeling the effects of the crash almost a year-and-a-half on, and this was evident when Woods made his way off the 18th green on Masters Sunday after he hobbled back towards the clubhouse.
The five-time green jacket winner previously said that his return to the PGA Tour will only be a part-time one due to his injuries, but it has been confirmed that he will compete in the remaining three majors on the 2022 calendar, after his PGA Championship and US Open entries were announced earlier this week.
This comes after the 15-time major champion had already confirmed that he would be playing at this year’s Open Championship, as it heads back to St Andrews for the 150th edition. The iconic Scottish setup is a place extremely close to Woods’ heart having won two of his three claret jugs at the Old Course back in 2000 and 2005.
Speaking to Sky Sports following his final round at Augusta he said: “I won’t be playing a full schedule ever again. It’ll be just the big events… but I am looking forward to St. Andrews. That is something that is near and dear to my heart.
“You know, I’ve won two Opens there, it’s the home of golf, it’s my favourite golf course in the world. I will be there for that one.” Woods’s return to St Andrews will be witnessed by a record crowd, after the R&A announced that nearly 300,000 tickets had been sold, the most since 239,000 were sold at the same venue when the three-time winner won his maiden title back in 2000.