Tiger Woods still feels he has a chance to compete for a fifth Masters triumph in two weeks but his back remains an issue, the golfer said on Monday. The 14-time major champion has not played since withdrawing from last month's Dubai Desert Classic with ongoing back spasms.
Woods is promoting a new book about his first triumph at Augusta in 1997 and when asked on television's Good Morning America show if he would compete at the National this year he said, "God, I hope so. I'm trying. I'm trying everything I can do to be able to get back and play. I love that event. It has meant so much to me in my life."
Woods said while his spirit is willing, his body remains an issue when it comes to being able to train well enough to prepare for the rigors of four rounds at a major event, something he has done only twice since the 2013 PGA Championship.
"I know that the mind is sharp, I just need to get the body willing to do it," Woods said. "That's the hard part is getting the prep time in."
Woods became the first black golfer to win a major and the youngest champion in Masters history at age 21 with the landmark victory in what was then an Augusta National course record. The tale is the subject of his new book: "The 1997 Masters: My Story."
Woods, 41, has won the Masters four times but could miss the tournament for the third time in four years. "It has so much history and meaning to me that I'd love to get back," Woods said. (AFP)