Masters 2018: Tiger Woods makes exciting claim about his chances at Augusta

The 42-year-old made his long-awaited comeback at the Hero World Challenge last year with all eyes on how he would cope after having back surgery just under a year ago.

There was promising signs from Woods but many pundits and former players were still sceptical on raising hopes.

But his recent performances at the Valspar Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he went into the final round of both tournaments in contention to win, have resurrected Tiger Mania in America.

Woods does’t qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this week and will skip the Houston Open, meaning his next focus is the 2018 Masters, which will be the first time he competes at Augusta since 2015.

The 14-time major champion admits it has been hard watching from afar in recent years and wants to make up for lost time.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Woods said.

“I miss playing there, I’ve been there for the dinner and as great as that is, it’s frustrating knowing that I’m, I would have to say, young enough to play the event, where some of the other champions are not.

“I just have not been able to physically do it, which is difficult.

“I’ve had a lot of success there, too, so really looking forward to getting up there and doing a bit of work and getting a feel for the golf course and basically feel for playing that style of golf again.”

The back surgery Woods underwent last year has still left some people concerned at how long the golf legend will be able to continue playing the way he is.

But Woods is confident he can make it work and is on the right track to getting to where he wants to be.

“A lot of it is feel. As I said to you guys before, I don’t know anyone who has had a lower back fusion L-5, S-1 who can go north of 120 miles an hour,” he added, referring to his swing speed.

“So it’s really no one I can go to on something like that. I’m very young to have this surgery. The average age is 58, and I was pretty young at 41.

“So I had to do this on feel and I still am. The good news is I’m trusting my hands, my hands are telling me what to do. It’s just like baseball, you’re in the box and you just trust your hands. That’s how I grew up playing, and it’s what I’m doing right now.”

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