AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods was in the wonderful sunshine of a spring in Georgia this past week this afternoon, with a steady dose of warmth ahead of the coming hours of frost and hell.
“A lot of treatments, a lot of ice, a lot of ice baths, basically freezing myself to death,” Woods said of his plans at Augusta National Golf Club before his next shot. “That’s just part of the deal.”
It’s rare for an athlete to have studied and documented more medical history over the decades – doctors, as well as many of the experts in tournament galleries, lounges and media booths. But even 14 months after Woods secured his sixth Masters Championship title after a car disaster made it possible to amputate his leg, the 46-year-old golfer’s recovery regimen may be more important than any green reading.
“If he rides in 72 holes here, he’ll compete,” said Fred Couples, the 1992 Masters winner who trained with Woods before the tournament began on Thursday. “It simply came to our notice then. It is very good”.
The couple may have been overly optimistic when they spoke on Monday. Woods threw an impressive 71 on Thursday and put his score at 74 on Friday over the weekend. Taken together, the turn-ups, ups and downs, were significant highlights of the hardships and hardships that helped Woods dominate his sport over the years. But these pre-cut exits were expected to be the least taxing.
Woods talked during the week about how little he cared about his golf skills, even though he was concerned about the wear and tear of a body that had been his easiest day in a long time.
So he and his team have to spend hours between shifts trying to achieve their duel goals: reducing the swelling of walking around Augusta’s topographic nightmare, and keeping Woods’ surgically reconstructed limb “mobile and heated, activated, and explosive for the next.” day, ”he said.
“In most sports, if you don’t feel really good, you can give it to a teammate, and they can carry the load somehow, or in football, one day a week,” Woods said. “We have four days in a row here, and there is no one to carry the burden. I have to figure out how to do that. ”
According to Woods, he has not taken a day off from rehabilitation efforts since he was released from bed for three months after a single-car crash near Los Angeles in February 2021. The accident left the tibia open in his right leg, causing the surgeon to add rods, plates and screws to his leg.
Subsequent revivals have required exchange-offs and bets, and, in something new to Woods, an inexhaustible confidence in his talents, thrown as they may have been.
Some changes seem a little easier than others, like new shoes, to help with stability on the trail. But experts have also developed pre- and post-turn protocols for rounds – “after going forward and breaking in there, they go ahead and fix it at night,” Woods said Friday – they have dramatically expanded the timeline of playing.
These hours-long approaches have given Woods less time, for example, to play a thousand balls a day and, once again, to refine the nuances of his game.
“It’s agonizing and teasing for the simple things I would normally do, now for a couple of hours here and a couple of hours to prepare and then relax,” he said. “So the activity time, to do what I want to do, adds more time on both sides.”
The goal, he said, was to create a duration that encourages him and all the other winners of Augusta to make competitive golf more of a chance than a dream.
But strategies can blur the pain, not extinguish it, Woods said is present “every day”.
However, he emphasizes that pain is not the problem. He said he had no unexpected physical setbacks in the early days of August.
Woods’ question – and for all the others standing in August’s field – is how long an already molded leg can withstand such pressure. The distance stretched this year is now 7,510 meters, the longest in the history of the 1934 tournament. Woods ’predictions have only gone so far.
“I was hoping to be hurt and not feel the best, for sure,” Woods said Friday. “It’s a combination. I can walk on this golf course – I can put on my tennis shoes and go for a walk, that’s not a problem. But to go ballistically and to take the form of shots from irregular lies is a new challenge for him. “
He soon left, supposedly for another ice night.