If there was ever proof of the transcendent popularity of golf legend Tiger Woods then this is it.
Thousands of fans turned up to Augusta National to watch the American golfer PRACTICE ahead of the 86th Masters.
Rumours have been swirling that the World Golf Hall of Fame inductee will be making a sensational return to golf, 13 months after being involved in a horrific car crash where he almost lost his leg.
When Woods landed in Georgia to play a round of golf, hysteria ensued and fans tracked his movements to Augusta.
I will be heading up to Augusta today to continue my preparation and practice. It will be a game-time decision on whether I compete. Congratulations to 16-year-old Anna Davis on an amazing win at the @anwagolf and good luck to all the kids in the @DriveChipPutt.— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 3, 2022
He tweeted: “I will be heading up to Augusta today to continue my preparation and practice. It will be a game-time decision on whether I compete.”
The tweet saw an incredible audience turn up to watch him practice, with the course welcoming back a full crowd for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions were implemented.
Fans and reporters were shocked by the turnout.
Zach Klein of WSB in Atlanta tweeted: “Amazing scene during Monday at the Masters... Everyone watching the one and only... Tiger Woods... practice.”
Amazing scene during Monday at the Masters... Everyone watching the one and only... Tiger Woods... practice pic.twitter.com/QoaSfTDDeP— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) April 4, 2022
While PGA Tour broadcaster, Australian Luke Elvy said: “Incredible scenes on the 1st just recently with Tiger Woods playing a practice round The Masters.
"Patrons were lined up from the tee all the way to the green, 5 deep in parts & both sides of the hole just to get a glimpse. JT & Freddy also in the group. It was like the Beatles!”
The practice session signals 25 years after he first electrified the Augusta National course by winning his first masters.
However, Woods has been out of the game for some time now, with his last competition coming at the 2020 Masters, which saw him fall to 973 in the rankings.
Tell me you don’t think Tiger Woods won’t play in The Masters. https://t.co/vU9cNs8DPk— Luke Elvy (@Luke_Elvy) April 4, 2022
World number 13 Billy Horschel also joined in on the speculation, looking as forward to seeing Woods play as anyone else.
Horschel told pgatour.com: “He looked good to me.
"He looked like the Tiger we saw before the accident… the way the swing looked and the speed.
"For him to even be here this week, and hopefully be playing – which I think he is – I think we’re all giddy about it."
While seeing Woods play would be sensational in itself, if the golf legend were to manage a win it would see him become the oldest Masters winner of all time.
It wouldn’t be the first time he’s made a comeback of that magnitude either.
He won the Masters in 2019 for the first time since spinal fusion surgery in 2008.
Featured Image Credit: UPI / Alamy. Zuma Press / Alamy.