There was a thought that Tiger Woods would be back for this year's Masters, now the talk is about coming back at next year's opening major. Woods returned out of the blue at the PNC Championship in November, where he and son Charlie dazzled in their second-place finish.
That week, albeit hugely impressive after the nature of his car crash in February that year, was spent in a buggy and on a flat, resort course.
"I'm lucky to be alive and still have the limb," he said back then in November. "Those are two crucial things. I’m very grateful that someone upstairs was taking care of me and I'm able not only to be here but also walk without a prosthesis. I don't foresee this leg ever being what it used to be, clock’s ticking, I’m not getting any younger.
"A full schedule, a full practice schedule and the recovery, no I don’t have any desire to do that. There’s no reason why I can’t [play in a PGA Tour event again]. I may not be tournament sharp, I know the recipe for it. I've just got to get to a point where I can feel comfortable enough where I can do that again.”
We last saw Woods at his World Golf Hall of Fame induction where he seemed to be walking fairly gingerly and a source has claimed that we might not see him again this year.
“He's aiming for the 2023 Masters Tournament," the source told People.com. “And he has a new goal: to be the oldest winner at the Masters. Jack Nicklaus won when he was 46. Tiger will be 47 next year when he competes, and that's the newest record he is going for. He'll stop at nothing to accomplish it.
“He's golfing, he's practising, he's really working on the sport and he's very determined to return to the game as soon as it makes sense. He has physical therapy, but he's got an almost full range of motion. He has really overcome a lot of his injuries. His pain has gone down tremendously. He has moments, but he's really not in a lot of pain anymore. The pain he has can be managed.
“Tiger was known for his focus before, but now he's learned to focus through terrible pain. And now that the pain has mostly faded, that focus is still there. He's going to be a force when he returns to the game. He's going to dominate.”
If true it would be fairly spectacular to return at the scene of his five Green Jackets. It does mean, sadly, that we won't get to see him at the Old Course for this year's 150th Open where he won two of his three Claret Jugs.