AUGUSTA, Ga. – Brooks Koepka at least has some semblance of an idea of what Tiger Woods is facing this week at Augusta National.
Last year, it was Koepka who was trying to rush back from surgery to play in the year’s first major. The four-time major champion underwent surgery in March 2021 to repair a torn ligament and dislocated right kneecap. Despite playing in significant discomfort, he hobbled around Augusta National and ended up missing the cut in the Masters – his first in a major since 2013.
Koepka said Monday that he had to receive a cortisone injection prior to last year’s event.
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“It’s very difficult,” he said. “It’s difficult enough to walk, and from the hours before to the hours after, it was some of the longest days. I don’t know everything he’s going through. His [injury] was a lot worse than mine, so I’m not trying to compare it. I just know it’s difficult walking this place when you don’t have the same body parts you’re used to.”
Woods is attempting to play this week less than 14 months after he sustained catastrophic injuries to his right leg in a car accident. He had open fractures in the upper and lower portions of the tibia and fibula in his right leg, and he told reporters last year that doctors had considered amputation.
Woods said two months ago that he had a “long ways to go” in his recovery, and it was thought that Augusta National’s hilly terrain would be too much for his rebuilt leg. But he played an 18-hole practice round last week and now has logged nine-hole practice rounds in consecutive days.
“It’s a major championship. It’s Augusta. Doesn’t matter how much pain you’re in – you figure out a way,” Koepka said. “He’ll figure out a way. If anybody can do it, he can.”