Tiger Woods: I'm a walking miracle
Tiger Woods described himself as a "walking miracle" as he prepares for the Masters.
Woods, 42, returned to competitive golf in December for the Hero World Challenge fresh off his fourth back surgery since 2014.
Expectations were tempered after a couple of failed comeback attempts, but something has been different about Woods this time around. Now, gearing up for his first Masters since 2015, Woods is excited to return to Augusta National as a player.
"It's been tough just going to the dinner," Woods said on his website. "I'm not retired. Watching the guys and hearing their excitement about playing was difficult. It was also sad not having Arnold [Palmer] there. It left a big void."
Woods, a four-time Masters champion who last slipped on the green jacket in 2005, has two top-five finishes in his last three starts. He found it comical that he is now a Masters favourite.
"That's kind of funny," Woods said. "Quite a shift. Six months ago the odds were I wasn't even going to play."
Having changed his swing to better suit his new physical limitations, Woods has gained comfort each week.
"I've been better with each week I've competed," Woods said. "A little more crisp. I'm starting to put the pieces together. I got a second chance on life. I am a walking miracle."
Everything from the grass to the patrons lining fairways has Woods excited about competing at Augusta National again.
"I'm just really looking forward to playing," said Woods. "It's the best run tournament in the world. The golf course, the patrons, the entire atmosphere. It's a golfer's heaven. They resurfaced a few of the greens, but they still look like they've been there for 100 years. The course was in fantastic shape. My yardage book was basically the same."