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Tiger Woods plays 18 practice holes at Augusta National amid Masters speculation

Tiger Woods plays 18 practice holes at Augusta National amid Masters speculation
Tiger Woods, shown Nov. 15, 2020, currently is listed among the expected 91 participants for next week's Masters, the first major championship of the 2022 season. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

March 29 (UPI) -- Five-time Masters winner Tiger Woods, who is attempting to return from major leg and foot injuries that he suffered in a car crash about 14 months ago, played a practice round Tuesday at Augusta National Golf Club.

Sources told ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Golf Channel that Woods played all 18 holes with his son, Charlie, and fellow PGA Tour pro Justin Thomas. The 46-year-old Woods was seen on the driving range with Thomas before their practice round.

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Woods and his team arrived Tuesday morning at Augusta Regional Airport after a short flight on his private jet, stirring anticipation that he was preparing to compete in the Masters. Due to its plentiful hills and length, Augusta National is considered one of the toughest walks in competitive golf.

Currently, Woods is listed among the expected 91 participants for next week's Masters, the first major championship of the 2022 season. However, he has yet to officially confirm whether he will play in the tournament.

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Woods, a 15-time major champion, hasn't played in a regular PGA Tour event since the 2020 Masters, which took place in November that year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This wouldn't be the first time that Woods has tried to return at the Masters after a long layoff. Following multiple knee and back surgeries, he won the 2019 Masters -- his first major championship in 11 years.

Woods suffered serious injuries to his right leg and right foot in a February 2021 car wreck. The SUV that he was driving crossed through two oncoming lanes, hit a curb and uprooted a tree on a downhill stretch in Rolling Hills Estates, just outside Los Angeles.

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The star golfer was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center by ambulance. He suffered open fractures in the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula in his right leg that almost led to its amputation.

At a news conference before The Genesis in mid-February, Woods said he was unsure when he would play again.

"I wish I could tell you when I'm playing again," Woods said. "I want to know, but I don't. My golf activity has been very limited. I can chip and putt really well and hit short irons very well, but I haven't done any long stuff seriously. I'm still working.

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"I'm still working on the walking part. My foot was a little messed up there about a year ago, so the walking part is something that I'm still working on -- working on strength and development in that. It takes time. What's frustrating is it's not at my timetable.

"I want to be at a certain place, but I'm not. I've just got to continue working. I'm getting better, yes, but as I said, not at the speed and rate that I would like. You add in the age factor, too. You just don't quite heal as fast, which is frustrating."

In December, Woods played in the unofficial PNC Championship with his son, Charlie. The 36-hole event was a scramble, and he was allowed to use a golf cart, but he did do some walking at the tournament.

This past weekend, Woods played at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Fla. In the since-deleted video, Woods was seen walking and playing with his caddie, Joe LaCava.

Moments from Tiger Wood's career

Tiger Woods swings during the second round of the U.S. Open in Bethesda, Md., on June 13, 1997. The following April, Woods became the youngest Masters Tournament winner. Photo by Jay Clark/UPI | License Photo

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