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Tiger ready to roar at Augusta

TIGER Woods aims to defy the odds by coming up with a strong performance in the 88th Masters Tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course. | SEAN M. HAFFEY/agence france-presse

AUGUSTA (AFP) — Tiger Woods appears set to make his 26th start at the Masters next week, but the 15-time major winner remains hampered by severe leg injuries from a 2021 car crash.

Woods, whose plane was tracked to Augusta a week ago, is listed to speak with reporters at Augusta National on Tuesday and remains among those in the tournament field on the event website rather than among non-playing champions.

But the 48-year-old US superstar, whose 82 PGA Tour wins shares the all-time record with Sam Snead, is struggling with injuries, according to his long-time pal Notah Begay.

“He’s trying to formulate a strategy and approach that he can work with given the constraints that he is presented with, and he has got some constraints,” Begay told reporters on Wednesday.

“He has got zero mobility in that left ankle and really has low-back challenges now, which he knew he was going to have.”

Woods won the 2019 Masters for his first major title since 2008, but has struggled since making his comeback from the 2021 auto accident at the 2022 Masters, finishing 47th when he struggled just to walk all 72 holes at the hilly layout.

Last year, Woods matched a Masters record by making a 23rd consecutive cut, pulling level with Gary Player and Fred Couples, but later withdrew due to plantar fasciitis and underwent ankle surgery last April.

The five-time Masters champion reportedly played Augusta National last weekend with pal Justin Thomas and Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley.

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