AUGUSTA, GA. – Tiger Woods was asked Tuesday, during his annual Masters press conference, whether he has envisioned a day when he will be an honorary starter, meaning he would hit a ceremonial tee shot early on Thursday morning.

He reacted as if he had been asked to hold an azalea between his teeth and streak around Amen Corner.

"No, no," he said. "No, I have not thought about being a starter here, no."

Woods has played in one PGA Tour event this season, and he withdrew in the third round of the Genesis Invitational because of the flu and back spasms.

Last year, he tied The Masters record by making the cut for the 23rd straight tournament, then withdrew in the third round, citing plantar fasciitis. He made consecutive double bogeys for the first time in his career, at the 15th and 16th holes.

Asked about his physical condition, he said that his fused right ankle is the least of his worries.

"The ankle doesn't hurt anymore," he said. "It's not going anywhere. So that's fine. It's other parts of my body that now have to take the brunt of it. So, yeah, once he put the rods in there, it's good to go. But, the back, the knee, other parts of the body have to take the load of it, and just the endurance capability of walking a long time and being on my feet for a long time.

"I ache all the time."

Woods said his body won't allow him to work at the game the way he once did. His words and recent résumé indicate that he would be better off retiring, or playing an executive course, than trying to compete at a major. Whether because of athletic arrogance or an inability to accept reality, Woods insists that he can not only compete, but that he can win this week.

"If everything comes together, I think I can get one more," he said.

He ranks second all-time with 15 major victories, three shy of Jack Nicklaus, who also leads him by one in Masters victories.

Woods' longevity and greatness are defined by his first and last Masters win. He became the youngest to win the tournament, at 21, while setting a record in 1997. In 2019, he won The Masters after failing to win a major for 11 years. He was 43, and four back surgeries and a single-car accident that almost cost him his leg had made walking courses as hilly as Augusta National difficult.

If Woods somehow won this week, he would become the oldest player ever to win The Masters, at 48. Nicklaus' victory when he was 46 remains the record.

Asked again why he thinks he's closer to another green jacket than his first ceremonial tee shot, Woods said, "Well, I still think I can. So I don't know when that day is, when that day comes, but I still think that I can. I haven't got to that point where I don't think I can't."