Tiger Woods said he is feeling much better than the last time golf fans saw him on the course at Augusta National for the 2023 Masters.

Woods, who made the cut but withdrew from the tournament due to injury, will return to competitive golf this weekend at the Hero World Challenge, which he hosts at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas. After having his ankle fused on April 19, the 47-year-old said he “absolutely” believes he is physically fit enough to win the tournament.

The 15-time major champion also indicated he expects to play more this season than in recent years.

“I think that best scenario would be maybe a tournament a month. I think that’s realistic,” Woods told reporters when asked how many events he hopes to play in this season, per the PGA Tour.

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“We have set up right now on the calendar, the biggest events are one per month. It sets itself up for that. Now, I need to get myself ready for all that. And I think this week is a big step in that direction.”

Woods played in two tournaments during the 2022-23 campaign. He played in three in 2020-21 and 2021-22 due to various injuries.

Woods said the hardware that was previously in his ankle has been removed. He underwent a subtalar fusion procedure given his ankle was “bone on bone.” It either needed to be replaced or fused, Woods said. And while he is not concerned about walking 72 holes, he’s interested to see how his knee and back hold up.

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“I’m here on the good side now,” Woods said in reference to his ankle.

Given it’s his first start in seven months, Woods is uncertain how he’ll perform with a pencil and scorecard in hand.

“My game feels rusty. I haven’t played in a while,” Woods said. “So I’m excited to compete and play and I’m just as curious as all of you are to see what happens. Because I haven’t done it in a while.

‘I can tell you this, though, I haven’t had any of the pain that I had at Augusta or pre that in my ankle. Other parts have taken the brunt of the load, some a little bit more sore than other areas. The ankle’s good, so that surgery was a success.”

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Woods added: “As I said, I’m just as curious with all of you about what’s going to happen. I haven’t done this in a while.”

But the fact golf’s most recognizable name is planning to compete more this season than in years past suggests his confidence in his physical standing. And the field is much more entertaining when he’s in it.

Featured image via Rob Schumacher/The Republic via USA TODAY NETWORK Images