The Masters: Tiger Woods 'ready to roll' in major comeback at Augusta National, says Fred Couples
Woods to play alongside Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann over the first two rounds at Augusta National, his first appearance at an official event since The Masters in November 2020; watch throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports Golf
By Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 06/04/22 7:18pm
Former Masters champion Fred Couples insists Tiger Woods is "ready to roll" in his major return after impressing during another practice round at Augusta National.
Woods confirmed in Tuesday's press conference he was confident of teeing it up in the opening men's major of the year, his first full-field start since his career-threatening car crash last February.
The former world No 1 played nine holes with Couples and Justin Thomas on Monday and did the same again on Wednesday morning, playing the back nine, with the 62-year-old impressed with the state of Woods' game heading into his highly-anticipated comeback.
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"He [Tiger] looked the exact same, maybe a little better, a little sharper," Couples said after his round. "JT was way better too. We flew in on Monday and laughed a lot, but today they were pretty serious. They're ready to roll, and they're ready to go tomorrow.
"Tiger is Tiger. I said it on Monday that he's not like a lot of us, where I've been injured even at age 35 and I go play just to play. He's not going to do that. He's won so many times, and he's just not a guy to go do something mediocre. He'll compete, and he'll be ready to roll.
"He doesn't want to play to play. He can play at home. He can enjoy his kids, play with them every single day and have the time of his life, but for me, I still like to play, and I go to a tournament every now and then. If I do okay, great. If I don't, okay."
Woods fuelled speculation about a major return when he went for a practice round at Augusta last week, before returning to Georgia for more time on the course on Sunday, after which he said he would make "a game-time decision" on whether he would compete.
The five-time Masters champion has been the dominant storyline heading into the week at Augusta National, with chairman Fred Ridley relishing the prospect of seeing him back in action.
"As it relates to Tiger, I mean, it's just truly amazing," Ridley said in his pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday. "I don't even know how else to say it.
"I would have probably taken some pretty high odds a few weeks or a few months ago, even a few weeks ago, whether or not he would be here. But when you think about it, it really shouldn't surprise us. He is one of the most determined, dedicated athletes that I have ever seen in my life.
"I saw him out last Tuesday when he was out practising, was in great spirits and had Charlie (Woods) with him. It was interesting yesterday he said the only real issue is walking; that his golf swing's fine, so who knows what might happen this week. But we are excited he's here."
Watch The Masters throughout the week exclusively live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday with Featured Groups from 2pm on Sky Sports Golf, with additional feeds and bonus action during all four rounds available via the red button.