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What kind of physical challenges will Tiger Woods face at Masters?

Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the PNC...
Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the PNC Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(AP)
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 4:21 PM EDT
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It has been a long road to recovery for Tiger Woods, much of in private. He did, however, give us a glimpse of his work to get back on the course in November with a tweet that read “Making Progress.”

Golfers are not allowed ride in carts along the course at Augusta National at the Masters, and that may present some challenges for Woods.

Woods said walking the course will be his biggest hurdle, so WPTV wanted to give you a different view of Augusta National.

According to Golf.com, walking 18 holes would be more than six miles, along with changes in terrain and elevation.

On the eighth hole alone, golfers climb more than 70 feet to the green.

WPTV spoke with a local sports medicine chiropractic physician who said there are a lot of muscle groups involved in walking on an incline, and there are many obstacles Woods may encounter on the course.

"If he's in a bunker somewhere and his leg is up on a high ledge and his club is down two feet, to be able to have that awareness and the receptors and nerve endings inside the foot and ankle to respond to imbalance like that, that's a challenge in and of itself," said Dr. David Rudnick with the Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Institute in Palm Beach County. "Most people with a good leg can't do that."

Rudnick said the mental preparation is just as important as the rehab Woods has gone through.

"He's getting the best of the best from around the world but you have to be motivated, you have to drop the anxiety, you have to drop the fear, you have to drop the sense of loneliness he was going through when he was still on crunches from this injury, you have to drop a lot of those negative and pessimistic attitudes early on, otherwise the likelihood of returning to play is low," Rudnick said.

Rudnick added when you an elite athlete like Woods, rehab in a full time job.

"What's unique about that level is they are rehabbing 24/7, their job is to get better. He's not going on a vacation saying 'yah I'll table rehab until next week.' He's doing it twice a day, sometimes three times a day, his nutrition is on par, his sleep is on par, his psychological support group absolutely integral to make this all work," Rudnick said, adding the rehab process "initially its all non-weight bearing and trying to do fluid movements to reduce the swelling in the area and reduce pain. And then you are trying to do a lot of range of motion work. You are trying to get the ankle to move, the knee to move, the hip to move again and then you start with strength and endurance and rehab and your body's awareness of space."

Rudnick said Woods' biggest challenge will be endurance and balance.

"I think if you asked him to walk 4 miles he could probably do it and he could do it well, it's the elevation, it's the terrain, it's the uneven terrain plus four miles, plus four days plus his practice rounds he's done already and he can't ride a cart," Rudnick said. "Walking down those hills is going to be a challenge, and I think the most challenge for him is that and seeing how that is going to affect him in the later rounds. There are a lot of muscle groups that are involved in walking down an incline so we shall see, but I think he can do it."

Rudnick added that Woods is no stranger to injuries, so he knows how to battle back. You may remember he won the U.S. Open with a broken leg back in 2008.

The first round of The Masters is Thursday, and Woods tees off at around 10:30 a.m.

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