Will the PGA accommodate Tiger Woods’ accidents?

Is Tiger going to try to play Augusta?

Is Tiger going to attempt to play Augusta?
Picture: Getty Pictures

The personal flight monitoring, the Medalist rumors, the unending hope — this morning, the final 12 months of Tiger Woods information got here to a head when he touched down at Augusta Nationwide, dwelling of the Masters, for a observe spherical that just about nobody noticed coming. Simply over a 12 months after a automobile accident that just about value the 15-time main winner his life, Tiger may defy all odds for the umpteenth time subsequent week. Discuss a practice like no different.

Woods hasn’t performed an expert event since late 2020, although he did seem together with his son Charlie on the PNC Championship in December. Augusta is nothing if not the place for a Tiger Woods miracle — in 2019, after a decade-long majors drought, he took dwelling the inexperienced jacket in an emotional victory.

To return to taking part in such a serious event after a comparatively brief rehabilitation interval would have been dominated out for almost some other athlete, however Tiger is Tiger. He may not climb Mount Everest once more, as he himself put it, however to play the course can be an enormous win in and of itself. After months of public denial that he had any kind of expedited timeline and repeated insistences that he had a protracted option to go in his rehabilitation, this transfer is in some way each a pleasant shock and completely predictable.

The problem at this level, although, is whether or not he’ll be capable of stroll the Masters course for 4 days in a row following his extreme leg accidents. He was allowed to make use of a golf cart to get across the course on the PNC Championship, however that’s actually not the norm for a PGA Tour occasion, not to mention a serious.

Nevertheless, a number of folks reported seeing Woods play the Medalist course in Florida this previous weekend with caddie Joe LaCava. Greg DuCharme, who labored at Medalist throughout one other of Tiger’s restoration durations, mentioned on the First Minimize podcast that he thinks that this stroll could also be an indication that Woods is making ready for a reputable comeback.

Woods is reportedly doing a observe spherical on the course at the moment to see how his physique will deal with the bodily calls for of Augusta, although in idea, he might be able to use a cart if he had been authorised to take action.

In 2001, Woods’ former Stanford teammate turned professional, Casey Martin, sued the PGA beneath the People with Disabilities Act after he was disqualified from an occasion for requiring a cart to get round attributable to a circulatory illness in his proper leg generally known as Klippel-Trénaunay syndrome, which is aggravated by strolling lengthy distances. Martin’s case made it to the Supreme Court docket, the place they dominated in favor of Martin, rejecting the PGA Tour’s argument that strolling was integral to the sport of golf.

Martin’s exemption has solely been utilized one different time in PGA historical past, when John Daly was granted a cart for the 2019 PGA Championship due to knee issues. Martin, who’s the lads’s golf coach on the College of Oregon, had his affected leg amputated in October.

Nevertheless, even when he had been granted a cart allowance from the PGA, Woods possible wouldn’t take it. In late 2021, Woods denied that he would ever use a golf cart for a PGA Tour occasion, saying, “No. I wouldn’t, no. No. Completely not. Not for a PGA Tour occasion, no. That’s simply not who I’m. That’s not how I’ve at all times been, and if I can’t play at that degree, I can’t play at that degree.”

The sport of golf isn’t simply in regards to the swings for Tiger, however in regards to the entirety of the occasion, even when the Supreme Court docket disagrees — which anybody who has been following Tiger to any extent over time may in all probability have anticipated. His hyper-competitive drive is matched by only a few athletes in historical past, and it seems that he would see utilizing a cart as a cop-out for his comeback, whether or not or not that’s an correct perspective.

For Woods, there could also be yet one more hurdle — the mindset required to play at this degree. Final month, at a event that he hosted however didn’t play in, he said, “It’s the aggressive nature, how a lot that takes out of you mentally, bodily, emotionally. I haven’t ready for any of that. Going for a stroll, I can try this. Am I going to be sore? Hell, yeah, however I can try this.”

Maybe the final month has been spent in psychological preparation — we’ll discover out quickly both method, because the Masters is ready to kick off April 7.

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