Woods win 'would be greatest comeback in sport'
|Venue: Augusta National Dates: 5-8 April|
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Tiger Woods could provide “the greatest comeback in sport” by winning the Masters this week, Sir Nick Faldo says.
The former world number one had spinal fusion surgery last April – his fourth back operation in three years – and feared he might never play again.
The 42-year-old American has also suffered much-publicised off-course troubles but has been in good form since returning to golf late last year.
Three-time Masters champion Faldo said: “How are you going to top this?”
Speaking to BBC Sport, the Briton added: “Ten years on from a major, off course he crashes and burns doing things you’re not meant to be doing, four operations – it’s amazing.
“It would be the greatest comeback in sport.”
The four-time Masters winner has finished 12th, second and fifth in his past three starts on the PGA Tour and arrives at Augusta seeking a 15th major title.
Yet after back problems and his off-course issues – including an arrest last May which resulted in him being sentenced to a year’s probation for reckless driving – many doubted if Woods would compete again.
Last week, he described himself as a “walking miracle” for managing to return to the sport.
And Faldo, a six-time major champion, believes that has made Woods’ fans even more committed to their hero and he drew large crowds when practising at Augusta on Monday.
“All applauded him and all ran to the putting green like a wave, everybody went. It was more than the old days,” said 60-year-old Faldo.
“The aura felt like a freight train, everybody looked. It was unbelievable. He’s an unbelievable story and people want to say: ‘I saw Tiger play.'”
England’s Justin Rose, last year’s runner-up, agreed. “When Tiger walked onto the range there was an anticipation and excitement from the crowd to watch him compete again,” he said.