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Tiger Woods has sent the golf rumour mill into overdrive after flying to Oklahoma for a practice round at the course where the PGA Championship will be held in May.
Woods made his return to professional golf at the Masters in early April before declaring his intentions to play the Open Championship at St Andrews later this year.
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However he left his participation at the PGA Championship up in the air and said he'd know more after he recovered from his four rounds at the Masters.
On Thursday, the 15-time major champion took his first step towards deciding as he hit the course at Southern Hills for a practice round.
Southern Hills will host the PGA Championship from May 19-22.
Woods walked the 18-hole practice round on Thursday, just three weeks before the start of the second major of the year.
Golf Channel reported that Southern Hills head pro Cary Cozby caddied for Woods.
After the practice round, the PGA of America posted a photo on Twitter of Woods and Cozby looking at the yardage book.
— PGA of America (@PGA) April 28, 2022
Tulsa TV station KOTV showed an overhead shot of Woods putting while wearing a black compression sleeve on his right leg.
Ken MacLeod, publisher of 'Golf Oklahoma' magazine, was at Southern Hills and one photo he posted showed 10 members of the Oklahoma PGA Junior League gathered on the 18th green as Woods teed off on No.10.
Tiger tees off on 10, members of the Oklahoma PGA Jr. League team that were being honored Thursday congregate on 18, good timing for them. They finished third nationally in 2021 pic.twitter.com/A7O0dUEdWX
— Ken MacLeod (@okgolf2) April 28, 2022
TaylorMade Golf also posted a video of Woods hitting a tee shot.
Can’t explain the joy of seeing Tiger still striking bullets down the fairway, send it chief
— Jimmy (@meatroffle) April 28, 2022
Love that the head professional/director of golf was his caddie.
— realityman (@realityman19) April 29, 2022
Right after this i lost it into the atmosphere might be on Pluto pic.twitter.com/St1hSQhrO7
— Steve McIsaac (@SteveMcIsaac) April 28, 2022
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) April 28, 2022
Folks it’s official. Tiger Woods is in Tulsa. Spotted his plane at the airport moments ago.
I’m told Tiger is heading to Southern Hills to scout the course ahead of the PGA Championship. pic.twitter.com/vRGZUfSMDb
— TJ Eckert (@TJEckertKTUL) April 28, 2022
Tiger Woods is underway at Southern Hills. pic.twitter.com/MHKxKKec4n
— Colby Powell (@ColbyJPowell) April 28, 2022
Will Tiger Woods play the PGA Championship?
Woods made a remarkable return at the Masters following a car accident in February of 2021 that left him with shattered bones in his right leg and ankle.
In his first time competing and walking a course, he made the cut for the 22nd straight time, though he tired on the weekend and his limp was more noticeable when he shot back-to-back 78s in the final two rounds.
He finished in 47th place out of the 52 players who made the cut.
“I don’t quite have the endurance that I would like to have had, but as of a few weeks ago, didn’t even know if I was going to play in this event,” he said after his final round at Augusta National.
“To go from that to here, we’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger, which we haven’t been able to do because it needed more time to heal.”
Southern Hills isn't as strenuous on the body as Augusta National, except for the steep decline walking off the first and 10th tees and the inevitable uphill climb back toward the clubhouse.
The course last hosted a major in 2007, when Woods won the PGA Championship for the second-straight year and fourth time overall.
He shot his lowest score in a major at that event, a 63 in the second round with a birdie putt that spun in and out of the cup on the final hole.
Woods left Augusta National unsure of when he would play next, although he confirmed he would be at the British Open at St Andrews.
This week he officially entered the PGA Championship and US Open at Brookline in June, although that was a formality as an exempt player.
with Associated Press
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