Tiger Woods defies the odds in remarkable return to action at 86th Masters
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Tiger Woods has left the door open for an appearance at the US Open later this year after formally entering the competition. He is joined among the entrants by Phil Mickelson, who has registered his interest in taking part in the major despite being missing from the professional scene for several weeks.
The fact both golfers have entered does not mean they will take part. In total, 9,265 player have announced their desire to play at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, for the USGA’s flagship competition in June.
But it does give both players the opportunity to make an appearance if they feel ready to do so. They were forced to take this initial step as the deadline for entries into the tournament expired on Wednesday.
Woods has declared on several occasions that he will never again play a full-time schedule after recovering from leg injuries suffered in a horror car crash last February. There were fears he might never walk again in the immediate aftermath, and it took months for him to get back on his feet.
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But he delighted crowds at Augusta last weekend by playing all 72 holes as he made his long-awaited return at the Masters. He was even competitive for the first two days, before falling down the standings as he continued to play through the pain on Saturday and Sunday.
The American confirmed after his final round that he plans on playing at least one more major tournament this year. He has The Open Championship in his sights, and is set to play a pro-am competition in Ireland before heading to St Andrews – the course he described as his “favourite in the world”.
In that same interview, Woods seemed to be less keen on an appearance at the PGA Championship in May. Meanwhile, the US Open was not mentioned so his current intentions regarding that competition remain a mystery.
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Mickelson has been absent from professional action ever since he announced a break from the game in February. That hiatus came in the wake of controversial quotes he gave to journalist Alan Shipnuck about the Saudi-backed golf super league that launches this summer.
He also took on the PGA Tour and accused golf bosses of “obnoxious greed”. Mickelson has skipped every event since releasing that statement about going on a break, and was a notable absentee from the invite-only Masters last weekend.
Mickelson has been deserted by some of his sponsors, while several of his fellow golf pros have also criticised his comments. The six-time major champion has been completely silent in public, so this is the first suggestion of a possible date where he might return to action.
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