Tiger Woods Says He Was Healthy Enough to Play Masters Before Postponement

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

Tiger Woods tees off on the 18th hole during the final round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
Ryan Kang/Associated Press

Back problems limited Tiger Woods at the start of the 2020 season, but he said Thursday he would have competed in the Masters if the tournament went on as scheduled.

"Night and day. I feel a lot better than I did then," he told GolfTV (h/t Bob Harig of ESPN). "I've been able to turn a negative into a positive and been able to train a lot and get my body to where I think it should be at."

The Masters was set to open Thursday, but it has been postponed until November because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Woods will get a chance to defend his title despite dropping out of multiple tournaments with back stiffness, including The Players Championship last month.

The 44-year-old hasn't competed in a tournament since the Genesis Invitational in February, where he finished 68th. His only other event since the start of January was at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he tied for ninth.

Woods has worked his way back, playing at Medalist Golf Club while most other courses remain closed because of of COVID-19.

PGA Tour events have been canceled through at least mid-May, while several other major tournaments have been postponed until later in the summer or the fall. The Masters is now scheduled for Nov. 12-15.

"This is not the way that I would've wanted to keep the jacket for a longer period of time," Woods said.

The 15-time major champion will now try to remain healthy after missing nearly two years of action in 2016-17. Even with his bright spots in 2019, he still only competed in 12 official events.

The extra time off could help him remain fresh when the PGA season returns.

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