Is Tiger Woods prepping for the Masters? His jet might offer a clue

Tiger Woods practices at Augusta National.

Tiger Woods' plane flew to Augusta Saturday morning.

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

UPDATE: Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig reported Saturday afternoon that Woods played Augusta with club chairman Fred Ridley and Justin Thomas.

Happy plane-tracking season, everyone. It seems like, in recent years, March has become the month when everyone wildly speculates whether Tiger Woods will be giving it a go at the Masters. And that includes following his movements (and the movements of his plane) with a microscope.

According to a tweet from the flight tracking account, @radaratlas2, Woods’ private plane, a 15-year-old Gulfstream G550 with the tailnumber N517TW, flew to Augusta, Ga., on Saturday morning.

Is it possible Woods’ plane flew to the site of the year’s first major, where its owner has won five times and can play pretty much whenever he wants?

As a past champion, Woods is in the field at Augusta National for the Masters until he tells the tournament he won’t play. Unlike the PGA Tour, he doesn’t have to “commit” the Friday before the tournament. Woods is currently listed on the Masters website as being in the field.

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Woods has never missed the cut at the Masters as pro. Before withdrawing in 2023, he secured his 23rd consecutive made cut at Augusta, tying a tournament record.

He said in December at his charity event in the Bahamas that his goal for 2024 was to play “a tournament a month,” but he didn’t play on the PGA Tour in January and skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship, the two events he was most likely to play in March.

Woods’ last start came at the Genesis Invitational in February, which benefits his foundation and where he serves as host. But he withdrew midway through his second round with what he later confirmed was the flu. He didn’t attend the trophy presentation ceremony in Los Angeles.

Woods did recover in time to make his first-ever appearance at the exclusive Seminole Pro-Member in Palm Beach, Fla., two weeks later in early March. He teamed with PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh to finish T33 in the net division and T44 in the gross flight. But that event was closed to the public.

This isn’t the first time Woods’ flight history has been tracked in anticipation of him returning to major championship golf.

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Ahead of the 2022 Masters, when Woods had not yet made a start since his February 2021 car crash, a Woods private jet flight to Augusta broke golf Twitter. Woods later announced his return to competitive golf would be that Masters and he made the cut and finished 47th.

The same fervor followed when Woods’ plane flew to Tulsa later that spring ahead of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, where Woods made another start. Woods made the cut again, but withdrew after the third round.

But even before his 2022 comeback, Woods’ private jet was tracked to Augusta in 2015 when Woods was in the middle of a break from competitive golf. Woods finished T17 that week.

In six PGA Tour starts since the accident, Woods has made the cut four times but has only completed 72 holes twice, the other coming when he finished T45 at the 2023 Genesis.

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