NEW YORK — Tiger Woods plans to return to practice and says he will be at the Masters Tournament.
“I’ll be there. Don’t worry about that,” Woods said Thursday on Good Morning, America to promote a new video game.
Woods withdrew from the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on Sunday with what he described as tightness in the left Achilles tendon. He said the next day that doctors told him it was a mild sprain.
Woods said the soreness and swelling are gone, and he will start practicing today to test it out. He said he hopes to play next week in the Tavistock Cup, a made-for-TV exhibition among players from four exclusive country clubs on Monday and Tuesday; and the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Fla., which starts Thursday.
Woods, a four-time champion at Augusta National Golf Club, has never missed the Masters. He won his last green jacket in 2005 and has tied for fourth place the past two years despite personal problems and a new swing.
The former No. 1-ranked golfer in the world has not won an official tournament since late 2009.
Later in the day on Thursday, Woods was a guest on The Scott Van Pelt Show on ESPN Radio, and elaborated about his most recent injury.
“The leg’s good now,” Woods said on the show. “I took a couple of days off, got some treatment on it. I got the go-ahead to start hitting balls (today) and start ramping up and get ready for Bay Hill.”
Woods also talked on Thursday to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, who asked him about his expectations for the Masters.
“(I’ll) give everything I possibly have to win the golf tournament,” he told Rinaldi. “That’s the whole idea.”
Woods told Rinaldi he “feels very good. I’m playing well. All my stats are very good this year. Compared to last year and in years past, I haven’t had stats like this in a long time,” he said.