Golf fans are eager to see Tiger Woods' return to the Masters but the 15-time major winner has admitted he isn't sure just how many more tournaments he will play in his career. The highly-anticipated Masters Tournament is kicking off this week with LIV golfers making their debut since switching to the breakaway franchise.
An extra narrative to this year's major is the return of Woods. The 46-year-old played his first tournament in 2023 at the Genesis Invitational, which marked his first tournament since The Open last year.
'INCREDIBLY SAD': Gary Player opens up on brutal Augusta treatment
Woods opted to skip The Players Championship to keep his body ready for the Masters having struggled with his leg injury from the life threatening car accident in 2021. After the Genesis Invitational, Woods admitted his aim was to play the majors this year with a couple of extra tournaments sprinkled in the schedule.
And in another brutal admission ahead of the Masters, Woods admitted that it has crossed his mind that each Masters could be his last as he comes to the twilight of his glittering golf career. "I don't know how many more I have in me," Woods said in the press conference.
"So, just to be able to appreciate the time I have here and cherish the memories." Woods went on to claim that his outlook on the game has changed with the icon admitting he values the time spent on the golf course with his son.
“It is different. I’m not able to compete and play as many tournaments or do the things I’ve been able to do over the years, but to be able to still share this game and create new memories with my son and also pass on some of the things that I’ve learned has been fantastic," Woods added.
Despite the signals that he won't be around the majors for too much longer, Woods admitted he feels his game is in a better place than this time last. Woods said he would only compete at tournaments if he thought he could lift the trophy.
And the five-time Masters winner reiterated his mindset, but with a tough twist. "My game is better than it was last year at this particular time. I think my endurance is better," Woods said before offering a word of warning to his younger rivals and the doubters on Tuesday.
"Whether I'm a threat to them or not, who knows? People probably didn't think I was a threat in 2019 either, but it kind of turned out okay."
Fans were left wondering if it was the last time Woods would be walking Augusta as a professional after his latest press conference.
I hope he wins one more for a certain reason.
— TigerSlam.Polygon (@tiger_slam) April 4, 2023
Ride a cart Tiger, you're too important to the golf world to quit now!!!
— Michael (@fulredy) April 4, 2023
Ice in his veins
— ok (@MikeyNooodz) April 4, 2023
Give us one more to remember. We want you to win this one. Make it count. Letsss goooo Tiger.
— Chandan Ganwani (@chandan_ganwani) April 4, 2023
Tiger Woods with major milestones in sight
Woods has admitted that he takes a lot more pleasure in Champion dinners at the majors and catching up with old friends, such as his practice round with Fred Couples. But Woods also knows there are milestones in sight at each major.
Woods was 43 when he completed the comeback of all comebacks in 2019, winning the Masters for a fifth time after back fusion surgery. Now he is a year older than Jack Nicklaus was when the Golden Bear became, at 46, the oldest man to reign at Augusta National.
He knows the odds are stacked against him but the 15-times major champion says he wouldn't be teeing up if he didn't believe winning was possible. "I just have to be cognisant of how much I can push," he said.
"I don't have the physical tournaments under my belt. I haven't played that much, no. But if there's any one golf course that I can come back, like I did last year, it's here, just because I know the golf course.
"You look at (how) Bernhard (Langer) is still able to compete here. Fred (Couples) is still able to compete here. They're older guys who understand how to play this particular golf course. It helps. And hopefully it will help me this week."
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.