Tiger Woods plays practice round at Southern Hills as he targets US PGA Championship

15-time major champion yet to confirm participation at season's second major next month

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Tiger Woods plans to play in next month’s US PGA Championship “barring a setback” after the American was spotted on Thursday having a practice round at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The 15-time major champion, 46, has not competed since making a shock comeback at the Masters earlier this month, where he finished 47th. It represented Woods’ first competitive tournament since a life-threatening car crash in February last year.

The former world No 1, who said immediately following the Masters that he could commit only to this summer's Open Championship at St Andrews, reportedly walked 18 holes at Southern Hills on Thursday with the club’s head professional Cary Cozby as his caddie.

US publication Golf Digest reported that Woods is targeting the season’s second major, which takes place at Southern Hills from May 19-22, barring any physical setbacks. The report, citing a source within the Woods camp, said he will wait to see "how his body responds to an increased workload in the coming weeks before making any final decisions”.

Woods won the most recent of his four PGA Championship titles at Southern Hills, in 2007, when he triumphed by two shots.

Speaking after what appeared to be a physically gruelling week at Augusta earlier this month, the five-time Masters champion said: “I don’t quite have the endurance that I would like to have had, but as of a few weeks ago, didn’t even know if I was going to play in this event.

“Now we’re excited about the prospects of the future, about training, about getting into that gym and doing some other stuff to get my leg stronger, which we haven’t been able to do because it needed more time to heal.

“I think it needs a couple more days to heal after this, but we’ll get back after it, and we’ll get into it. I’ve got some work to do and I’m looking forward to doing it.”

Woods said then that he would definitely compete in the Open from July 14-17 – he won the Claret Jug at St Andrews, "my favourite golf course in the world", in 2000 and 2005 – while he has since committed to the JP McManus Pro-Am, a two-day event in Ireland, on the Monday and Tuesday the week before the Open.

Woods, who almost lost his left leg in the single-car crash in Los Angeles, is registered for both the PGA Championship and June’s US Open.

Updated: April 29, 2022, 6:26 AM