Golf: Superstar Tiger Woods focused on 'one more' US Masters green jacket at Augusta National

Tiger Woods tees off for a practice round at Augusta.
Tiger Woods tees off for a practice round at Augusta. Photo credit: Getty Images

One year after withdrawing during the third round of the US Masters, Tiger Woods is back at his favorite golf course and his favorite tournament, ready to give it another go.

The five-time Masters winner, now 48, has restated what he has said for years amid challenges to his physical fitness - he would not compete, if he didn't think he could win.

"If everything comes together, I think I can get one more," said Woods with a grin. "Do I need to describe that any more than that or are we good?"

Two years ago, Woods made his return to competitive golf at the Masters less than 14 months after a single-car accident nearly cost him his right leg. He made the cut at Augusta National, before finishing 47th.

Woods says his goal going forward is to play a handful of events a year, possibly once a month, but that has been a challenge. After making the cut at the 2023 Masters, the third round was suspended due to rain and he withdrew, rather than returning Sunday, citing plantar fasciitis.

After ankle surgery later that month, Woods came back to play two unofficial events in December, but when he attempted to play in the signature event hosted by his foundation - February's Genesis Invitational - he withdrew early in his second round, due to flu-like symptoms.

"I wasn't ready to play, my body wasn't ready," Woods responded to a question about the Genesis. "My game wasn't ready and I thought that when I was at [the Hero World Challenge], once a month would be a really nice rhythm.

"It hasn't worked out that way, but now we have major championships every month from here through July, so now the once a month hopefully kicks in."

Woods clarifies that his left ankle no longer hurts - "It's fused, it's not going anywhere" - but other parts of his body, like his knee and back, take on more of the load, when he tries to walk 72 holes.

Woods' friend and NBC Sports commentator Notah Begay III has told reporters that Woods had "zero mobility" in his left ankle.

"As far as my physicality on certain shots, every shot that's not on a tee box is a challenge," said Woods, again smiling. "Once we start the hole, it's a bit of a challenge."

Tiger Woods during a practice round at Augusta National.
Tiger Woods during a practice round at Augusta National. Photo credit: Getty Images

Woods has made 23 consecutive cuts at the Masters, and he can break a tie with Fred Couples and Gary Player for the most ever, if he reaches the weekend this year.

"I think it's consistency, it's longevity and it's an understanding of how to play this golf course," said Woods. "That's one of the reasons why you see players that are in their 50s and 60s make cuts here, or it's players in their late 40s have runs at winning the event, just the understanding of how to play it.

"Now, you still have to go out and execute it, but there's a lot of knowledge that goes into understanding how to play it."

Aches and pains aside, Woods will tee off with Max Homa and Australian Jason Day, as he guns for his sixth Masters title and his second since 2019.

"I just love doing the work," Woods said. "I love logging the time in and I love preparing.

"I love competing and I love that feeling when everything's on fire with a chance to win, and you either you do or you don't."