Tiger Woods Has ‘Zero Mobility’ In Ankle - Close Friend Warns Before The Masters

Woods' long-time friend said that the 15-time Major champion had revealed earlier this year that his ankle "doesn't move" anymore

Main image of Tiger Woods in a navy blue Sun Day Red sweater and cap - Notah Begay wears NBC broadcasting gear and cap (inset)
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Tiger Woods' long-time friend Notah Begay III says the 15-time Major winner is dealing with "zero mobility" in his left ankle as well as "low-back challenges" heading into The Masters next week.

A horror car crash in 2021 almost cost Woods the use of his lower right leg, and several other injuries and surgeries have greatly restricted the California-born player's mobility on and off the golf course.

Since beginning his latest professional comeback, Woods has only experienced one full four-round tournament in the handful of times he has competed. That arrived at the Hero World Challenge last year, and since then, the 48-year-old has featured in only the PNC Championship and Seminole Pro-Member.

Woods did play one round of the Genesis Invitational on the PGA Tour in February - an event he hosted - but pulled out early in round two with what was described at the time as "flu-like symptoms."

Expected to tee it up at The Masters next week in what will be his first competitive start in two months - and only his fifth since last April - all eyes are focused on how Woods might fare at a notoriously difficult golf course, both physically and mentally.

Photo of Tiger Woods angry

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Begay III - who is a former Stanford teammate of Woods - said in a conference call which involved USA Today on Wednesday that the answers to those questions remain "up in the air."

On the five-time Masters champion, Begay III said: "He’s trying to formulate a strategy and approach that he can work within given the constraints that he’s presented with. And he’s got some constraints. He’s got zero mobility in that left ankle and really has low-back challenges now, which he knew he was going to have."

Begay revealed that Woods told him at the Notah Begay III Junior Golf National Championship, in which son Charlie was competing, that his ankle "doesn't move, so something's going to take the stress" - ultimately leading to lower-back troubles.

“For the past couple months, he’s been trying to find a way to recover. He can play the golf. We always knew the question was going to be ‘can he walk the 72 (holes)?’ That’s still up in the air.

"But can he recover from one round to the next? That’s the biggest question that I really don’t know and he’s not going to know either until he gets out there and figures out whether the way he’s prepared for this year’s Masters is going to work for him.”

Tiger Woods takes a shot at the Genesis Invitational

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Meanwhile, ESPN commentator Andy North believes Woods playing the weekend would be a huge success for the 82-time PGA Tour winner.

In a conference call also involving USA Today on Tuesday, North said: "I think playing on the weekend would be a win, a win-win.

"He's going to tell you that he's there because he thinks he can win the tournament, but to be realistic, what he's gone through, you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. What he has to do to get ready to go out and try to play golf every single day is very, very difficult."

Tiger Woods with the trophy after his 2019 Masters victory

Tiger Woods with the trophy after his 2019 Masters victory

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Woods has won The Masters five times, one fewer than the great Jack Nicklaus, with his most recent title arriving in 2019 - a decade on from Major victory number 14.

Part of Woods' preparation for one of his favorite tournaments included a reported recent practice round at Augusta National Golf Club alongside chairman Fred Ridley and good friend, Justin Thomas.

Woods has made 23 consecutive cuts at The Masters and would break the all-time record by playing the weekend in 2024.

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.