My body was ready to go for Masters: Woods

MIAMI • Tiger Woods has revealed he has recovered from a sore back that hindered his preparations for the now-postponed Masters.

In an interview released on Thursday night by GolfTV, the 15-time Major champion said he was cycling more and playing tennis to pass the time, given that the golf calendar has shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On how he felt since the last time he stepped on a golf course - finishing last at the Genesis Invitational in February - Woods said it was "night and day".

"I feel a lot better than I did then. I've been able to turn a negative into a positive," he added. "I've been able to train a lot. I've been able to get my body back to where I think it should be at."

Woods skipped last month's Players Championship as well as preceding events, including WGC-Mexico, Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational, due to lingering back pain.

But he said he would have been ready to defend his Masters title this weekend, had the Major not been pushed back to Nov 12-15.

"It's hard to unwire those circuits now. I feel a little edgy. I want to get out there. I want to compete," the former world No. 1 said. "Subconsciously, I had already known I was supposed to be getting ready to go to be playing at the Masters this week. My body was ready to go."

While many of his peers do not have access to a golf course, with many of them closed due to the Covid-19 crisis, he admitted he was lucky that the one near his home was still open, allowing him to take the edge off things.

"I've been able to play some golf," the 44-year-old said. "Medalist (Golf Club) is still open here... just get some activity and some peace of mind."

Still, Woods conceded it would have been much more preferable to be in Augusta this weekend as he now has to deal with calendar backlog.

"This is not the way I wanted to keep the (green) jacket for a longer period of time. I wanted to get out there and earn it again like I did in 2002," he said. "The way the schedule looks, we're going to be awfully busy in the fall.

"Trying to figure all that out. I'm going to sit down with my team and figure out what is the best practice schedule, what tournaments I should play in to get ready, when should I rest, all of the things that are kind of up in the air."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 11, 2020, with the headline 'My body was ready to go for Masters: Woods'. Print Edition | Subscribe