Five-time champion Tiger Woods plans to play in the Masters this week just 14 months after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car crash.
Woods will play nine holes on Wednesday before confirming his decision.
But at a press conference at the Augusta National on Tuesday, the American said, “Now I’m going to play.”
When asked if he thought he could match Jack Nicklaus’ record of six wins, he replied, “Yes. I don’t show up for a competition if I don’t think I can win it.”
While acknowledging that if he never played again he would be content with winning 15 majors (three short of Nicklaus’s record) and an overall record of 82 PGA Tour titles, Woods said he still had the will to compete.
“I feel like I can still do it,” he said. “I still have my arms, my body moves quite well. Been in worse situations and won tournaments.
“I feel like if I can still compete at the highest level, I’m going, but if I feel like I can’t, you won’t see me here.
“The fact that I was able to get here at this point was a success and now when I play, everything is focused on getting this position in the back nine on Sunday with that chance, as I did a few years ago.”
He surprised many when he announced last week that he hoped to compete in the inaugural Men’s Major of 2022.
Woods’ last professional tournament was the rescheduled Masters in November 2020 when he was the reigning champion, winning his fifth title in 2019 – more than a decade after winning his 14th Major.
But three months later, he flipped his car while driving near Los Angeles at nearly double the 45 mph limit. Woods said he could have died in the plane crash due to having to have his leg amputated, which was another fear at the time. He spent several months in the hospital.
He returned to play in an exhibition tournament with his son Charlie in December but used a buggy to get around the track.
And in February, Woods made it clear that he thought the hilly terrain in the Augusta National would hamper his recovery too soon.
However, he played 27 holes last week, nine on Sunday and nine more on Monday with good friends Justin Thomas and 1992 Masters champion Fred Par.
More to follow.