Masters 2017: Tiger Woods 'hopes' he can play at Augusta

Mark Steinberg Tiger Woods

Given his health and the length of his absence it's not clear how realistic Woods' chances of playing in a 21st Masters really are, but most golf fans are no doubt hoping he will be able to give it a go.

The Golf World story, by Brian Wacker, cited several sources in saying it "seems unlikely" Woods would play in the Masters, which begins in three weeks.

The 14-time Major victor, who has not played since pulling out of the Dubai Desert Classic in February with back pain, is a significant doubt for next month's tournament.

Woods, now ranked 742nd in the world, was in NY to promote his new book: "The 1997 Masters: My Story" about the first major title he won in record-breaking style.

Woods has won the Masters four times throughout his illustrious career, but has not won at Augusta since 2005.

"I love that event, it has meant so much to me in my life". "I'm trying everything to be able to get back and play".

"I need to get back physically", he added.

"I know the mind is sharp", he said.

"My dad would always make sure when we talked he never sat above me", Woods said of one lesson from his dad.

He was fully expected to miss out on the tournament but is desperate to beat the odds and get back to fitness in time to feature. "That's the hard part is getting the prep time in". Woods pulled out after the first round and the next three tournaments because of ongoing back problems.

"Because I know how to prepare for it, and I know the golf course, I know where to miss it, I know where to play from, I know where the advantages are", he said, according to USA Today.

With so little time left to refine his game, though, a return to the Masters even if Woods is healthy might not be the best thing for him. It's been harder. My priorities have changed a lot. He's gotten treatments and is progressing and hoping he can do it.

As a past champion of the Masters, Woods is invited to participate for life.

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