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Golf stars missing injured Tiger Woods at Masters

Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are among the players still influenced by their absent friend Tiger Woods during Masters week.

Tiger Woods after winning the Masters in 2019. Source: Associated Press

While Woods is still recovering after his car accident in February, he was sure to let people know he had Georgia on his mind as he tweeted about the traditional Masters Champions Dinner, hosted this year at Augusta National by Dustin Johnson.

"I'll miss running up @DJohnsonPGA's bill at the Champions Dinner tonight. It's still one of my favorite nights of the year," Woods said on his official Twitter account.

Northern Ireland star McIlroy, going into this week still seeking the missing major that would complete his personal grand slam, explained how he'd received a vivid reminder of the importance of major titles from Woods.

McIlroy and world No.2 Thomas are among the players to have visited Woods in Florida since the 15-time champion returned home from Los Angeles to recuperate.

And McIlroy was struck by Woods' attitude to majors compared to regular tournaments.

"I went over to Tiger's house a few weeks ago and in his family room he's got his 15 major trophies and I said, 'That's really cool, where are all the others?'" McIlroy said.

"And he was like, 'I don't know. My mum has some, a few are in the office, a few are wherever'.

"That's all he cared about (winning majors)... He talked about these are the four weeks that matter... If all he cared about was four weeks a year, the other stuff must have just been like practice.

"That's a cool perspective to have, right?

"That's all I could think about on the way home - and I was glad he was OK too!"

Thomas revealed how much he's missing Woods, who underwent surgery on open fractures to his lower right leg and further injuries to his foot and ankle after the crash in February.

Asked what he missed most Thomas said: "Playing the practice rounds with him for sure.

"We texted Friday morning and he said it's kind of starting to set in.

"He's bummed he's not here playing practice rounds with us - and we hate it, too.

"I'm very, very lucky that I somehow got thrown into that practice round group with Tiger and Freddie (Couples) the last four years or whatever it is, especially around this place.

"I just follow them around like puppy dogs."

While Woods lamented missing out this year, 1992 champion Couples said the feeling was mutual.

"Thinking of my guy @tigerwoods during this week @themasters. I'll miss you tonight at dinner. Not the same without you," Couples tweeted.