16th March, 2012
Tiger Woods, nursing a strained left Achilles tendon, vowed yesterday on a US television show that he will be ready to play in next month’s Masters, saying: “I’ll be there. Don’t worry about it.”
Woods, who appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America, also said that he has not yet hit a golf ball since walking off the course last Sunday at the World Golf Championships event at Doral after wincing following his 12th hole tee shot.
“I took a few days off,” Woods said. “I will start hitting balls tomorrow. The stiffness is gone.”
Woods told ESPN that he has had treatment on the tendon every day and “each day it has gotten better” and that he has confidence in his body and his ability to hold up despite the latest setback.
“It feels good. I feel strong. I feel fit,” Woods said. “I played more than I have in a long time. I’m practicing a lot more now.”
Woods said he is still hopeful of playing in next week’s US PGA Tour event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his traditional final tune-up for the year’s first major championship.
The interviews were part of a publicity boost for a new Woods golf videogame being released later this month, as was a Twitter answer session where Woods replied to selected questions and gave away little in personal details.
Woods said on Twitter that no one uses his real first name, Eldrick, anymore “but my teachers growing up did”, and that the big change to his event preparation is “I have less time to devote to my game, kids are my priority”.
Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won a tour-sanctioned event since November of 2009 in Australia.
Woods was nagged by injuries, notably to his left knee and Achilles tendon last year, and the fallout from the infamous sex scandal that delayed his return to golf in 2010 until the Masters.
The Masters, which Woods has won four times, will be played April 5-8 at Augusta National Golf Club and Woods says he will play with confidence under the Georgia pine trees.