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For Tiger Woods, a Masters stroll different from some other awaits

For Tiger Woods, a Masters stroll different from some other awaits

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods' 91st competitive circular at the Masters will begin exist fond of all the rest.

Shortly following 11 a.m. on Thursday, the five-time champion will stick his tee into the ground at Tea Olive, the name of the earliest opening at Augusta National, lay clasp of a set of two of practice swings with every one other accompanied by carry on accompanied by a familiar stroll that began over a quarter-century ago.

It's what happens when Woods stuffs his driver spine into his bag that will determine whether his surgically rebuilt just lower limb — or the relax of the 46-year-old Hall of Famer for that matter — is prepared for a trial different from some other he's faced inside his career.

The five-mile or so stroll in the centre of the Georgia pines at Augusta National is 11,000-plus steps of up with every one other accompanied by down with every one other accompanied by up again. It requires hitting shots from uneven lies. Of digging into the pine straw when required. Of trying to summit over bunkers that tin sprint so deep — while it does on the par-3 fourth opening — you need to jump if you're going to see the flag.

No one other than Jack Nicklaus has navigated the sprawling way while well while Woods. No operative player is while well-versed inside the contours of every one inch of superbly manicured Bermuda grass.

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That's why Woods wasn't complaining when he said on Tuesday "walking is the firm part." He's only stating a fact. And he's hardly the only one who knows how physically draining competing inside the Masters tin be.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange used to depart from the competition accompanied by shin splints. And Strange didn't have to do it while employed accompanied by a lower limb crammed accompanied by rods with every one other accompanied by plates metal detectors shudder when they see you coming around the corner.

"You know, 72 holes is a lengthy road, with every one other accompanied by it's going to exist a durable be brave enough with every one other accompanied by a be brave enough that I'm up for," Woods said.

At least inside theory. He hasn't played 18 holes at Augusta National on consecutive days since shredding h is lower limb inside a automobile accident inside February 2021 that led doctors to believe concerning amputation. Now he's asking the same lower limb that anchored 15 greatest championships with every one other accompanied by a PGA Tour record-tying 82 victories to clasp up for quartet rounds inside the span of 81 or so hours.

That doesn't flat include the warm-up or recovery, routines that need a lengthy way additional hour dated than they did when he fist-pumped his way to his earliest greenish jacket 25 years ago.

It's asking a lot. Yes, it's fair walking. Only it's no indeed usual walk. And it's no indeed usual week. For Woods or anyone else.

"I believe most of the stress that we have is inside all likelihood additional intellectual than physical," said world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who at 25 was born less than a year earlier to Woods captured his earliest Masters title.

The stress is no indeed longer in the centre of Woods' ears, nevertheless underneath his feet. The elevation changes are almost continual from your opening shot. Down the high ground to the earliest fairway, at that hour dated spine up in the direction of the green. Down a high ground on one occasion additional at No. 2. Rolling terrain on No. 3. An elevated tee at No. 4. Uphill almost all the way at No. 7. Ditto No. 8. A climb to the turn at No. 9.

The spine nine is a jumble. The 10th fairway could dual while a ski slope. Another trek down the 11th into Amen Corner. The 12th with every one other accompanied by 13th provide a small portion of a respite. Mounds with every one other accompanied by a slanted fairway on the 14th, where a flat untruth is fundamentally a myth. A sort downhill to the 15th green. The 16th provides a respite, earlier to the 17th tee begins one last climb spine to the clubhouse.

Woods admits his mobility is so restricted he ditched Nike cleats for FootJoys since it provided additional comfort. He's hoping the jolt of adrenaline fueled by the earliest capacity crowd to go nearer to Augusta since his titanic victory inside 2019 will assist him obtain by.

Still, golf is golf. Throw inside the crucible that is the Masters with every one other accompanied by Woods knows adversity is unavoidable. He stressed he wouldn't go nearer spine fair to exist a meadow filler. That's simply not his way. He's not going to inquire his lower limb to simply assist him obtain around, nevertheless to stand on the 18th greenish late Sunday afternoon with every one other accompanied by have Hideki Matsuyama drape a sixth greenish jacket over his shoulders.

It sounds impossible. It extremely well may exist impossible.

"When I resolve to hang it up when I be in touch exist fond of I can't come first in anymore, at that hour dated that will exist it," he said. "But I be in touch exist fond of I tin still do it, with every one other accompanied by I be in touch exist fond of I still have the hands to do it, the body's moving good enough. I've been inside worse situations with every one other accompanied by played with every one other accompanied by won tournaments."

Yes with every one other accompanied by no. He won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines fundamentally on one leg. Yet he was fair 32 then. He's closer to 60 now than that gifted Father's Day weekend inside the sol spine place of residence inside California.

The spirit remains willing. It has since the earliest hour dated he ducked inside the ropes at Augusta while an amateur inside 1995.

It's the relax of him, mainly the just ankle that will have to convey the heaviness of so a a large amount of — including inner with every one other accompanied by outer expectations that go nearer when your name happens to exist Tiger Woods — that will determine whether this lengthy stroll will exist spoiled.

"I don't have to fret concerning the sphere striking or the game of golf, it's actually fair the hills not here here," he said. "That's going to exist the challenge, with every one other accompanied by it's going to exist a be brave enough of a greatest marathon."

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For Tiger Woods, a Masters stroll different from some other awaits

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