Dr. David Chao: Tiger Woods logs good opening Masters round but can he sustain it?

The question is can Woods stay in it and contend on Sunday? The concern all along is if Tiger can walk the hilly Augusta course four days in a row. That remains to be seen and there are signs of fatigue already.

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Tiger Woods tips his cap after playing out the 18th hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Augusta, Ga.

Tiger Woods tips his cap after playing out the 18th hole during the first round at the Masters golf tournament on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Woods seemed to walk normally on flat ground at the start of the first round. By the back nine, a slight limp could be detected. He even used his golf club as a pseudo cane on occasion. On hills he always had a slight hitch but it became more evident later in the day.

Tiger Woods acknowledges applause on the 18th green after finishing the first round at the Masters golf tournament on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Augusta, Ga.

Tiger Woods acknowledges applause on the 18th green after finishing the first round at the Masters golf tournament on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Commentators on the broadcast noted Woods’ trouble with uphill approach shots where he would need to rely on the power on the back right leg. A handful of times, Tiger was short and had to scramble for par. He even “drop kicked” a tee shot which is very uncharacteristic.

Despite the monster Nike sponsorship, Woods is wearing FootJoy shoes which give his injured ankle/foot more support. This is an obvious indication of what he is going through.

On another occasion, Woods seemed to wince and grab his back. Let’s not forget the five back surgeries and spine fusion.

Tiger Woods walks to the 18th green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia.

Tiger Woods walks to the 18th green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 07, 2022 in Augusta, Georgia. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Physically, today was his best chance to have a great round as the consecutive days are likely to take its toll. In the meantime, Tiger is putting on a show and let us all enjoy.

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