Speculation that former world number one golfer Tiger Woods will play at the Masters in Augusta has been spreading rapidly after he played 18 holes at the competition course.
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Woods, who has previously won four green jackets at Augusta, is currently on a self-imposed hiatus in order to improve his game and recover from injuries, though his agent Mark Steinberg has said he will “advise in the coming days what the plan is.”
The sporting great has played just 47 holes on the PGA Tour all season and has not played on the Tour since dropping out of the Farmers Insurance Open on 5th February. Woods then revealed he would not be returning to the sport until he once again felt ready to compete with the world’s best players.
It would surely be a huge surprise for the once proud and revered player to take part in a major little over two months after making the admission his game was not good enough to play on the PGA Tour. Following a series of unimpressive showings, and dropping out of the top 100 in the World Rankings, an appearance at the Masters should not be on the cards for the American, who needs to rebuild himself before taking on the big fish of the sport.
Woods is, and always will be, one of the most celebrated golfers of his generation having won 14 major championships, second only to Jack Nicklaus on 18, but he has suffered an acrimonious fall from grace both personally and professionally. To see him spectacularly fail on the world’s stage would be the greatest of shames for a man of his stature. Woods needs to build himself back up from the bottom, starting with improving his world ranking, like any other golfer to once again sit atop the pyramid of the sport.
That said, some could argue he does not need to prove himself. Woods has been there and done that, he’s taken on people at the bottom of the food chain, worked his way up and dominated the sport, surely he has already earned himself a spot at golf’s top table. That’s where the argument falls down though, reputations are won and lost regularly in sport and to have any credibility – he needs to win his back.