Tiger Woods hits a shot on No. 3 in the second round of the Masters Tournament on Friday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
April 11 (UPI) -- Tiger Woods expressed gratitude for his return to golf at the 2022 Masters, committed to the 2022 British Open and left the door open to compete in the PGA Championship after the first major tournament of the PGA Tour season.
Woods made the comments Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. He finished the tournament at 13-over par and in 47th place, 23 strokes behind winner Scottie Scheffler, in his first appearance since the 2020 Masters.
"I don't think people really understand," Woods told reporters, when asked about his road to recovery from the leg injuries he sustained from a 2021 single-car crash near Los Angeles. "The people who are close to me understand. They've seen it. Some of the players who are close to me have seen it and have seen some of the pictures and the things that I have had to endure.
"They appreciate it probably more than anyone else because they know what it takes to do this out here at this level."
Woods started the tournament with a 1-under 72 in the first round. He was 2-over par in Friday's second round, but made the third-round cut. Woods carded personal Masters-worst scores of 6-over par on Saturday and Sunday to drop to the back of the field. He told reporters that he experienced pain throughout his four rounds and said the endurance in his leg "wasn't very good."
Woods could be seen limping as he walked between holes on the hilled 7,510-yard course.
"It's one thing to play with my son at a hit-and-giggle [amateur tournament], but it's another thing to play in a major championship," Woods said.
"It's been a tough road and one that I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to be able to grind through it. A lot of different things could have happened, but 14 months [after the crash], I was able to tee it up and play in the Masters."
Woods, 46, thanked his team and other players for keeping in touch with him -- through FaceTimes, calls and texts -- during his hiatus. He also said he savored the roars of the packed galleries, which followed him at each tee box, fairway and green.
"I didn't play my best out there, but just to have the support and appreciation from all the fans, I don't think words can describe that," Woods tweeted. "Congratulations to Scottie Scheffler on an outstanding win. It's been a special run."
The 15-time major champion conducted several stand-up style interviews with TV networks at the conclusion of the tournament. He told Sky Sports that he "didn't really know" what his future plans were, but hinted that he will aim for several other majors.
Woods previously said he would never return as a full-time player on the PGA Tour. The 2022 PGA Championship, from May 19 through 22 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., is the next major on the schedule.
The U.S. Open is the third major of the season. That tournament runs from June 16 through 19 in Brookline, Mass. The British Open, the final 2022 major, is schedule for July 14 through 17 at St. Andrews Links in Fife, Scotland.
"It'll be just the big events," Woods told Sky Sports. "I don't know if it'll be Southern Hills or not. But I am looking forward to St. Andrews. That is something that is near and dear to my heart. I've won two Opens there, it's the home of golf.
"It's my favorite golf course in the world, so I will be there for that one. But anything in between that, I don't know. I will try, no doubt. Like this week, I will try and get ready for Southern Hills and we'll see what this body is able to do."
Woods jumped from No. 973 to No. 745 in the Official World Golf Ranking due to his performance at Augusta. He earned $43,500 of the tournament's $15 million prize purse.
Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Cameron Smith are the Top 5 players in world. Scheffler, who also tops the FedExCup rankings, took home $2.7 million for his first-place finish.
Scottie Scheffler, winner of the 2022 Masters golf tournament, receives his trophy at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., on April 10, 2022. Photo by Bob Strong/UPI | License Photo