The Masters: DeChambeau excited to have Woods back as Rahm hails the Tiger effect

By Sports Desk April 05, 2022

Bryson DeChambeau is thrilled to see Tiger Woods back and ready to feature at The Masters, though he is unsure just quite how the 15-time major winner has overcome adversity once again.

Woods, who remarkably won the Masters in 2019 after coming back from spinal surgery, suffered serious leg and foot injuries in a car crash in California in February 2021.

The 46-year-old was unsure if he would ever play professionally again yet, 14 months after the accident, he is set to make a remarkable return to action at Augusta National, where he won his maiden major title in 1997.

It will be the first competitive action for Woods since he competed at The Masters in November 2020.

DeChambeau, who is overcoming his own injury issues to feature in the season's first major, is delighted to have Woods back on the course.

And while the big-driving American is unsure just how Woods has managed to come back, he has tipped the five-time Masters champion to make a bid for glory.

"Its great to see his face. I mean, I was walking down, I was teeing off on 3, and he was walking down 17. He just, like, jumped up and raised up, and we were both kind of air high fiving, like saying, 'what's up'," DeChambeau told a news conference.

"It's just great to see him in a positive frame of mind. I haven't spoken to him much, but I have seen him and it seems likes he's in a really great frame of mind and he wants to win.

"Obviously, he's determined to win. He wants to come back here and win. Tiger is Tiger, and you can never count him out. He is one that may shock a lot of people if he does tee it up this week.

"Very, very excited to have him back. Creates a lot of hype and, shoot, from the driving range, we could hear the loud roar when he came out of the clubhouse up to that first tee, and that was pretty special to see or hear at least.

"I couldn't be happier for him in the place he's at right now, coming back, and proud of him, too. Shoot, coming back off that injury, we've had some conversations, and man, I don't know how he's done it. It's very impressive."

While DeChambeau is looking to make a vast improvement on his T46 finish at Augusta from last year, Jon Rahm heads into the tournament aiming to add a second major title to his collection, having recently lost the world number one ranking to Scottie Scheffler.

But the Spaniard, too, has not failed to get caught up in the excitement of Woods' return.

"You can feel it. A lot of it is Tiger," Rahm said when asked about the excitement surrounding the build-up at Augusta. "I was playing with Tony Finau on the front nine yesterday. We were about four or five holes ahead, we were on 7, and they [Tiger's group] were walking down on 2, and I've never seen a mass this big, even on a Sunday in contention, on those two holes.

"It feels like this Monday they allowed way more people to come in just because the last two years had limited invitations, COVID, and what everybody has gone through. More people wanted to come out, then Tiger's playing, so a lot more people are coming out Monday trying to see him. It's a combination of things, I think.

"There's a lot more electricity in the air in that sense, and you have Tiger being there, yeah. Monday felt like a Saturday in a regular event."

Woods has been grouped with Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann for the first round on Thursday.

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