86th Masters: Woods believes he can play and win

Tiger Woods edges closer to confirmation he will contest this week’s Masters declaring, and with a day-and-a-half to tee-off in the 86th Masters that ‘I feel I am going to play’.

Ever since the sight of Woods’ private jet arriving at Augusta Regional Airport late last week, the sports world has been eagerly digesting the news that Woods may take his place in the staging of the 86th Masters.

We then saw the sight of Woods out on Augusta National on Sunday, and then followed by the tremendous support Augusta patrons gave Woods when we made his way to the 10th tee on Monday to join good friends Fred Couples and Justin Thomas in a nine-hole practice round.

Anyone who was spoken or played with Woods over the past few days, including Couples and Thomas, have spoken how good the five-time Masters champion is hitting the ball, and now we’ve heard news from the man himself.

“Tiger Tiger Woods (Credit: ANGC)

“As of right now, I feel like I am going to play,” Woods said in his pre-tournament press conference. “My recovery has been good. I’ve been very excited about how I’ve recovered each and every day and that’s the challenge.”

“That’s why I came up here and tested it out for 27 holes because we play the par-3 course. Charlie couldn’t help himself. I was able to play 27 holes that day and at home testing it.”

“But it’s the recovery. How am I going to get all the swelling out and recover for the next day. My team has been fantastic and worked very hard. So we’ve got another day of nine more holes and then come game time.”

“It’s all just a matter of what my body’s able to do the next day and the recovery. That’s the hard part. Yes, we push it and try and recover the best we possibly can that night and see how it is the next morning.

“Then all the activations and going through that whole process again, and you warm it up, and then you warm it back down, or test it out, and then you’ve got to cool it back down. Then you’ve got to do that day in and day out.”

“It gets agonising and teasing because of simple things that I would normally just go do that would take now a couple hours here and a couple hours there to prep and then wind down. So activity time to do what I want to do, it adds more time on both sides of it pre and post.”

“So that has been — it’s not like something I haven’t done, but the times have gotten longer on both sides.”

And it’s not just being physically fit to tee-up at Augusta National, and even with Tiger saying he will be wearing metal spikes, but confidence in his game, and from we have seen in a past few days, he does have the game to compete this week.

“I can hit it just fine”, said Woods. “I don’t have any qualms about what I can do physically from a golf standpoint. It’s now walking is the hard part. This is normally not an easy walk to begin with. Now given the conditions that my leg is in, it gets even more difficult.

“You know, 72 holes is a long road, and it’s going to be a tough challenge and a challenge that I’m up for”.

When asked if he could win this week, Woods said, “I do.”