Woods Back from Injury, On Course for Masters Challenge
(CNN) — Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf Monday dispelling fears he might miss the first major of the year at the Masters next month.
The 14-time major winner pulled out of last week’s World Golf Championships in Florida with an Achilles injury, putting his place at Augusta in doubt.
But the former world No. 1 was back on the course to take part in the Tavistock Cup, played between rival international golf clubs Albany, Queenswood, Isleworth and Lake Nona.
Woods, joining up with the Englishman who won the WGC event Justin Rose, showed his game is still in good working order as the pair made nine-under-par for Team Albany.
“I did the smart thing and prudent thing this time, hence I’m back in a week,” Woods told reporters about his decision to quit the WGC.
“I’ve done it before and played through not just pain, but injury and set myself back quite a bit. That’s what I did last year and missed two major championships because of it.
“I want to be ready for Augusta. I have to do the right thing. Unfortunately there are times when I’ve played when I probably shouldn’t have and it’s cost me.”
Team Albany, which also consists of South Africans Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Tim Clark and England’s Ian Poulter, ended day one third on 23-under as Team Isleworth, who include American pair Bubba Watson and Sean O’Hair in their ranks, lead on 26-under.
At the Lake Nona course, Woods showed no signs of the limp he carried when walking off at Doral the previous week after calling it a day on the 12th hole.
At that point there were fears he might not to be able to try to add to his four Masters titles, the last of which came in 2005, especially as the 36-year-old missed a significant chunk of last season with knee and Achilles problems.
But after a week’s rest and some treatment on his injury he was fit to compete, and has confirmed he also intends to play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which starts Thursday.
Woods will take his place for the singles matches on the second and final day of the Tavistock Cup on Tuesday.