Dr. David Chao: Tiger Logs a Good Opening Masters Round But Can He Sustain It?

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Tiger was Tiger. Did we expect anything else? As expected, Woods played well and is in easy position to make the cut and is at minus-1.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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