Five-time Augusta champion Woods will be watching from home this week rather than taking to the course he knows so well.
The golf great was involved in a single-vehicle incident six weeks ago that saw his car roll “several hundred feet”.
Tiger Woods crash investigation concluded by LASD
Woods required surgery on serious leg injuries, while an officer from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in the aftermath the 45-year-old was “very fortunate” to survive.
It was just the latest setback in a superstar career and means Woods is absent from The Masters for the fourth time in eight years, although he did win the tournament in 2019.
There had been appearances from Woods at each of the prior 19 editions of The Masters, while he was the last man to retain the green jacket with back-to-back triumphs in 2001 and 2002 and is one of only five to have celebrated a career Grand Slam, this week marking 20 years since his ‘Tiger Slam’.
Woods posted on Twitter on Tuesday: “I’ll miss running up @DJohnsonPGA’s bill at the Champions Dinner tonight. It’s still one of my favorite nights of the year.”
I’ll miss running up @DJohnsonPGA ’s bill at the Champions Dinner tonight. It’s still one of my favorite nights of the year.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 6, 2021
Thomas, who regularly practises with Woods and Fred Couples ahead of the Augusta major, said at a news conference: “I went over and saw him a couple times last week and try to go over a couple times during the week whenever I’m home and see him.
“We texted Friday morning, and he said it’s kind of starting to set in. He’s bummed he’s not here playing practice rounds with us, and we hate it, too.
“I’m very, very lucky that I somehow got thrown into that practice-round group with Tiger and Freddie the last four years or whatever it is, especially around this place.
“I just follow them around like puppy dogs. Wherever they go, that’s where I go after it. If they hit chips from somewhere, I go hit chips from there.
“It’s no coincidence they have been so successful here, but they are also just great guys to be around. I definitely miss that part.”
Thomas added: “[Couples] didn’t feel like getting up in the early cold weather this morning, so I made sure to give him some grief.
“I don’t know if he would have bailed on me if Tiger was with me, but he did on me.”
Couples posted on his own Twitter page: “Thinking of my guy @tigerwoods during this week @themasters. I’ll miss you tonight at dinner. Not the same without you.”
— fredcouplesgolf (@fredcouplesgolf) April 6, 2021
Thomas, who has improved his Masters finish every year since his 2016 debut and came fourth last year, has been grouped with Tony Finau and Louis Oosthuizen for a 13:48 EDT start on Thursday.
Couples will play with Francesco Molinari and amateur Charles Osborne, teeing off at 12:24 EDT.
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