Tiger Woods Says He Plans to Play in 2022 Masters in PGA Tour Return Over a Year After Injury

The iconic golfer had previously told reporters he was unsure when he'd be recovered enough from injuries sustained during his 2021 car crash to begin playing on the PGA Tour again

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods. Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty

Tiger Woods is making golf fans' dreams come true: the iconic athlete will return to the PGA Tour in Augusta.

The five-time Masters winner will play in the tournament next week, he confirmed Tuesday, April 5, during a press conference. The news comes after reports said Woods played 18 holes at the iconic Augusta National this week and as his name remained listed among a group of players expected to compete at the 2022 Masters tournament on the event's official website.

Woods, 46, suffered severe injuries in a car accident early last year and, while he has made strides in his recovery since then, the golfer has said his return to professional golf was unclear.

"As of right now, I feel I am going to play," Woods told reporters Tuesday. "I am going to play nine more holes tomorrow. My recovery has been good. I'm very excited about how I've recovered... My team has been fantastic."

When asked if Woods thinks he can win the Masters "this week," he responded: "I do... I can hit it just fine."

In the accident, Woods "suffered significant orthopedic injuries to his right lower extremity that were treated during emergency surgery by Orthopedic trauma specialists at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center," Anish Mahajan, MD, chief medical officer at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said last year.

Woods had fractures to the upper and lower portions of his tibia and fibular bones, which were stabilized with a rod. He suffered additional injuries to his foot and ankle.

As recently as last month, Woods said that while he was now able to "walk on a treadmill all day," he struggled when the ground has "undulations" like a golf course.

"I wish I could tell you when I'm playing again," he told reporters. "I want to know, but I don't. My golf activity has been very limited. I can chip and putt really well and hit short irons very well, but I haven't done any long stuff seriously. I'm still working."

The Masters return is a year earlier than a member of the golfer's team recently told PEOPLE was Woods' goal.

"He has a new goal: to be the oldest winner at the Masters," the source said. "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."

And those close to Woods said that he'll be stronger than ever in his return.

"Tiger was known for his focus before, but now he's learned to focus through terrible pain," the source explained. "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."

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