The appearance of Tiger Woods‘ name on a list of participants on the Masters Tournament website has many speculating about the legendary golfer’s comeback.
Woods was injured in a major early morning single-car accident in February 2021, having to be pulled out of his wrecked SUV by emergency responders. It was later determined that he had suffered compound leg fractures, putting his potential return to the green in doubt. Two months later, he posted a cheerful photo of himself on crutches, signaling that his rehab process had begun.
As of Monday, Woods remains on the list of participants for the upcoming Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. Golf Digest notes that the website typically lists all players that could qualify for the tournament until the organizers are alerted that someone will not be competing. Former champion Phil Mickelson, for example, is listed as not participating.
Despite this, some, including Sports Illustrated writer Bob Harig, have said that Woods’ name still being on the list 10 days out from the event signals that the chances of a comeback might be good.
Golf Digest writer Dan Rapaport speculated that Woods may have been understating the progress of his rehab in the last year in order to make a more grand return.
“He’s managing expectations,” Rapaport wrote. “Woods would gain nothing from telling media that he’s inching ever closer to a return; it would just put more pressure on himself to play by a certain date and add attention to the process. Woods prefers to work in silence, away from the cameras, to drop news only when he has some… That’s how Tiger operates. Big news, or no news.”
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Woods has allegedly been spotted playing at the Medalist golf course in South Florida multiple times in the past week, according to Golf Monthly. One instance was reportedly captured on video and retweeted by @PGATourTracker.
Woods and his camp, for their part, have been mum about the prospect of a forthcoming Masters comeback. As noted by multiple outlets, Woods has also been cautious in overhyping the progress of his recovery.
Newsweek has reached out to representatives for Woods for a comment on this story.
While he has yet to make a professional comeback, Woods previously made a return to the green in December, competing alongside his son Charlie in the PNC Championship, an event that sees golf champions team up with a member of their own families. Team Woods ultimately came in second place to John Daly and his son.
“I’m just happy and thankful that I’m able to do this,” Woods said at the event. “I still have my old leg which was questionable for a while and it’s functioning. I’m just really tired, I’m not used to this. I think this is my fourth or fifth round of golf this year, I’m a little worn out and it was nice to have a cart.”