Speculation that golfing luminary Tiger Woods is set to play in next week's Masters Tournament has ramped up considerably after it was revealed that the 14-time major winner is listed on the pre-competition press conference schedule.
Woods, a four-time winner at Augusta National, is planning to attend the latest annual Champions Dinner on Tuesday (4 April), although has yet to publicly announce whether or not he intends to compete with his comeback to the sport frustratingly interrupted by yet more injury woe.
However, the fact that the 41-year-old is due to address the media at 13.00 ET earlier that day has been perceived by many as a potentially major hint regarding his potential involvement. The Masters, unlike PGA Tour events, has no commitment deadline.
"I do have a chance," Woods, who missed the first major of the year in both 2014 and 2016 and tied for 17th-place in 2015, recently told USA Today Sports.
"I'm trying everything I possibly can to get to that point. I'm working, I'm working on my game. I just need to get to a point where I feel like I'm good enough, and I'm healthy enough to do it.
"I've been a part of so many Masters over the course of my career, I know exactly what it takes to get ready for that event. Now it's my job to go out there and get ready. I hope I can."
Absent for 17 months following three back procedures, Woods finished 15th on his eagerly-anticipated return to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in December 2016. He later missed the weekend cut at the Farmers Insurance Open – his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Wyndham Championship – and posted a first-round 77 at last month's Dubai Desert Classic before being forced to withdraw with back spasms. Such an issue led to him missing both the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic.
Woods, whose world ranking has plummeted to 757, also pulled out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier in March and insisted there was currently "no timetable" for his return. Agent Mark Steinberg recently described suggestions that his client was doubtful to feature in Georgia as "absolutely inaccurate".
You may be interested in:
- Grand slam: Dustin Johnson completes WGC clean sweep to cement status as Masters favourite
- Emotional Jason Day withdraws from WGC Match Play as mother prepares for cancer surgery
- British golfer Charley Hull open to Muirfield hosting Women's British Open
- Will Tiger Woods make latest injury return at the 2017 Masters?