NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Will Tiger Woods’ big return come at the Masters?
Right now it’s anybody’s guess. But a big hint could be sitting on a tarmac in Augusta.
According to the Augusta Chronicle, a Gulfstream “matching the tail numbers” of the former top golfer in the world’s plane “was parked in front of the terminal for private aircraft at Augusta Regional Airport” on Tuesday morning.
What does it all mean? Could Woods be in town to practice ahead of next week’s major at Augusta National? The 39-year-old hasn’t competed since withdrawing with back tightness Feb. 5 at Torrey Pines, announcing an indefinite leave six days later.
“Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me,” Woods said in a statement on Feb. 11. “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. Like I’ve said, I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”
Woods pulled out of the Masters last year to undergo back surgery.
“I think Tiger Woods is going to play the Masters,” wrote Golf World‘s Tim Rosaforte. “I also think you’ll see him take a trip to Augusta National this week where he can practice in solitude without a camera on him.”
Woods can announce his participation in the Masters as late as the tournament’s first day on April 9, The Associated Press reported.
Woods, whose ranking dropped out of the top 100 this week for the first time since 1996, has won the Masters four times, the last in 2005. He hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.
He’s four shy of Jack Nicklaus’ all-time record of 18 major championships.