Tiger Woods “hopes” to play in the Masters at Augusta National in April after undergoing a fifth back operation.
Woods recovered from spinal fusion surgery in 2017 to win a 15th major at the 2019 Masters, but his participation in this year’s event – which begins April 8 – is on the line.
“I feel great – I’m a little stiff,” Woods told CBS Television.
“I have another scheduled MRI so we’ll see if I can start doing more activities.
“I’m still in the gym, still doing the mundane things you need to do for rehab; the little things where I can start to gravitate toward something more.”
When asked if he would be at Augusta National in seven weeks, Woods replied, “I hope so,” before adding the results of his MRI would determine if he would be able to fit into a warm-up event.
Woods last played at the PNC Championship in December, where he felt “uncomfortable” in the back.
He won his fifth Masters title in 2019, more than a decade after his previous victory in major.
He jointly holds the record for most PGA Tour wins at 82 with Sam Snead and is three behind Jack Nicklaus’ mark of 18 major titles.
But back injuries have taken a heavy toll on Woods in recent years and after playing just one PGA Tour event between August 2015 and December 2017, he underwent spinal fusion surgery.
Woods finished 2019 in sixth place in the world golf rankings, but he is now 48th.