LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - With the Masters just six-plus weeks away, Tiger Woods says he is not certain he will be ready to play in the event, the year's first major championship.
Woods, who underwent a fifth back surgery on Dec 23, said in a CBS interview during the Genesis Invitational that he could not commit to playing a tournament before the Masters and that even the event itself, April 8-11, remains uncertain.
He had originally expected to take 10-12 weeks off for recovery, which would have him back by mid-March.
Asked specifically about the Masters, he said on Sunday (Feb 21): "God, I hope so. But I've got to get there first. I don't have much wiggle room left. I've got only one back."
Woods, 45, said he has not practised much - "I have looked at my putter..." adding, "the plan right now is to get through tomorrow and start progressing".
The American won his fifth Masters in 2019, bringing him within one of the record held by Jack Nicklaus. That was also his 15th Major title, four more than any golfer except Nicklaus, who won 18.
He has won three tour events since then, bringing his PGA Tour victory total to 82, tying Sam Snead atop the all-time list. But at the 2020 Masters, won by Dustin Johnson in November, Woods tied for 38th in what was his most recent official event.
"I'm feeling fine, a little stiff," he said. "I've got one more MRI scheduled, and then I can start doing more activities. I'm still in the gym doing rehab activities before gravitating towards more."