Augusta, Georgia – This thing is getting real.
Tiger Woods took another significant step towards the first game on Thursday morning to play in his 24th first round Masters. For the second day in a row he trained and played a few holes, playing the front on the ninth Monday afternoon after playing on the back the day before.
Ignore Woods ’assessment of the“ in-game decision ”he gave in his Sunday morning tweet. Except for a serious setback, Woods will be playing this week. And the closer this moment approaches, the more determined it will be how wonderful the moment will be when he meets him on Thursday.
Woods ‘presence in August sounded positive, and not only because of the mass galleries of fans – more than 35,000 were estimated to be on Monday – fighting for a place to look at it, but also from Woods’ rivals. too.
The fact that he is going to take part in perhaps the most important major golf championship, less than 14 months after the terrible car accident in which he got outside of Los Angeles, is a staggering thought.
“I would be surprised if it was anyone else who ever lived,” Max Homa said Monday. “So no, I’m not surprised. I’m surprised. This is a true testament to his work ethic because we all know what he does on the golf course, how diligently he works, and stories and legends.
“It reminds me of the documentary“ The Muse ”with Kobe Bryant after he pops out of Achilles – he picks up marble with his toes and … and does so much more than anyone else. This is what, I imagine, makes Tiger like the most repetitions you can prepare. That’s really cool. ”
Stephen Nicholas, director of sports medicine at Lennox Hill Hospital in Manhattan and a former Jets orthopedist, also used the word “excellent” when speaking to The Post about Woods ’game this week.
“It’s a wonderful recovery – just from the amount of gut he needs to overcome what he had to overcome,” Nicholas said Monday before taking a walk with his son at Augusta National. “Just playing and walking again is great, and playing golf at such a competitive level is a story you just can’t believe.”
Nicholas said he was surprised by Woods’ speedy recovery, “because the bone he injured [the talus bone, which connects the foot to the ankle] it’s such an important part of his swing.
“A talus is a round bone that is under the ankle joint, and if you damage it, you break it, and you can lose a piece of it, creating an unevenness in the joint between the bone on top and the large round ball.” Nicholas continued. “It causes inflammation in the tendon and the surrounding joint capsule and causes pain. The stiffness that results from an ankle injury is incredible. You need to get rid of stiffness, which is a very painful and difficult task.
“Obviously he’s a tough guy, but I didn’t think he would be able to get back into the competition. I thought he would be able to return to play recreational golf. “
On Monday, Woods played with two of his closest golf friends, Fred Parr and Justin Thomas, and Parry said Woods “looked phenomenal.”
“I hope that this week he will be able to play everything and play well,” said Patrick Cantlay. “Obviously, this is the most important thing for our sport. Everyone is thrilled with it. Even last week hearing that he could play was interesting to the guys. Of course, there is a different feeling in tournaments when he plays. “
Bryson DeChambo described this other feeling best when he said, “We could hear a loud roar when he came out of the club before that first Trojan, and it was very special.
“I couldn’t be happier than him [to be] to the place where he is now, returning, proud of them. Shoot, coming back after that injury, we had a few conversations and I don’t know how he did it. A tiger is a tiger and you can never calculate it. He is one of those who can shock many people if he does so this week. “
Adam Scott said seeing Woods play this week “would be just epic”, adding: “I’ve long since learned to never doubt this guy. If he can get around that seems like an issue, you can’t doubt his golfing. ”
Asked if Woods could “compete” this week, Homa replied: “Yes, it’s Tiger Woods.”
Brooks Koepka said such strong words about Woods: “We need him. He needs a game. Everyone needs it. Fans need him, that’s all. “
Kapka also said he has a relationship with Woods after playing for the Masters last year due to a knee injury.
“Look, I was in his shoes last year two weeks after surgery,” Kapka said. “This place is not an easy walk. I understand what he is against. It will be difficult. It’s a big championship, it’s Augusta, no matter how much you hurt, you find a way. He will find a way. If anyone can do it, it’s him. “