When Will Tiger Woods Play Next?

Published on 04/12/2022 · 4 min readTiger Woods was a surprise addition to the 2022 Masters, so Golf Expert Andrew Howard breaks down what we might expect from this legend for the rest of the season.
Andrew Howard, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Andrew Howard

Photo by Keith Allison, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“Fore please, Tiger Woods now driving” is such a special greeting that we got to hear at the one and only Augusta National on the first tee at the Masters. Who would've thought we would hear “Tiger Woods now driving” this year?? Especially when just six weeks ago Tiger was in the booth at the Genesis Invitational giving golf fans a lot of uncertainty about when he might return. Though six weeks is a lot of time, it’s a bit different when you have a life-changing car crash requiring a spinal fusion! We all know Tiger wouldn’t return to tournament golf if he didn’t think he could win the Masters.

Golf fans and media alike started to speculate when it was announced that Tiger was at Augusta National a week before the tournament to begin practicing. Some thought he might just be there for the cherished champions dinner and the special par 3 contest, while others hoped he would be competing in the Masters. Everyone was discussing it on social media while Tiger refused to give a definite decision on whether or not he would play the Masters. But as the first round drew nearer, we all got the sense that Tiger would be playing.

One of our first cues was the Fred Couples interview where he refers to Tiger as an older brother and offered us some insights into Tiger’s current golf game after a practice round at Augusta National. It was definitely encouraging news to hear, and if you caught those clips, you were pretty certain that Tiger would be teeing it up.

However, whenever Tiger’s involved, there is usually a mix of opinions. Some will say there’s too much coverage on Tiger, while other golfers argue that he is great for golf and always want to see him play. Either way, one of the greatest to ever play the game was on the golf course again at the Masters.

Tiger didn’t have the week he expected to have, however, he had a solid first round at -1, 71. His main struggle, as he told the media, was his putter, "I hit a thousand putts." The ball striking was there for him, but the putting was not. Augusta National is a hard course to come back to right away as you have to putt well here to survive. However, he was able to play all four rounds, even amidst the doubts circling around his current abilities. Was Tiger even ready to play the Masters? Did he do it just for the fans? We might never know the answer, however, I can certainly say that a lot is on the horizon for Mr. Woods.

Post-play on Sunday, Sky Sports Golf gave us some insights into Tiger’s possible future. Tiger won his first Masters just 25 years ago, and it’s hard to fathom that nearly three decades have already passed! However, Tiger is obviously facing new challenges that require him to take it one day at a time to prepare himself for the next major, the PGA Championship. Tiger clearly stated that he is unsure if he will play next month at Southern Hill, the host golf course for the PGA Championship. But I believe there is a strong possibility that Tiger may return for the tournament because he won at this golf course in 2007. Tiger’s last PGA Championship win those 15 years ago will give him some extra confidence and assurance that he could break his PGA-Championship-win drought to pick up his 16th major championship.

Time will tell, but just as Tiger wasn’t definitive six weeks ago during his interview at the Genesis Invitational, we could have another game-time decision on our hands. Nonetheless, we do know that Tiger will be back for the 2022 Open Championship at the home of golf, St. Andrews Links. As Tiger alluded to in the Sky Sports Golf interview, he has a deep love for this course, having hoisted the claret jug at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005. As Jack Nicklaus once said, “If you're gonna be a player that's gonna be remembered, you must win at St Andrews.” This course is the true test of golf. Surely, we will see Tiger there, and in the meantime, we will have to wait for his PGA Championship decision next month.

As we know, Tiger has dedicated his life to golf and being the best golfer he can be—even if it means playing through injuries—all to shock the golf world time and time again. It will be hard to count him out of the PGA Championship given his history of facing adversity to win again at the 2019 Masters. Golf fans will be waiting and on the edge of their seats.

If you've ever wanted to play like Tiger, or use his gear at least, reach out to a Golf Expert here on Curated and we can get you geared up like the pros!

Andrew Howard, Golf Expert
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