Tiger Woods Uses Round at Augusta National to Test Injured Ankle

Tiger Woods tested his injured ankle by walking around the hills of Augusta National Golf Club three days ago.

He said he passed the test.

The round at the site of next month’s Masters Tournament was the first of four straight days on a golf course for Woods, a four-time winner of the season’s first major championship.

After today’s practice round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida, Woods said there was no adverse reaction to a strained left Achilles that forced him to withdraw from the Cadillac Championship outside Miami this month.

“I feel great,” Woods told reporters. “I wasn’t really that concerned about it. When it gets that tight, I get treatment for two or three days and it’s all fine, all the swelling goes away and I’m good to go.”

Woods will continue the quest this week for his first full-field tournament victory since September 2009.

He is scheduled to tee off at 8:26 a.m. New York time tomorrow with Ernie Els and Hunter Mahan at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Woods has won the tournament, his last before the Masters, six times.

Woods, 36, spent the past two days playing the Tavistock Cup exhibition matches with several other U.S. PGA Tour players at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando. On March 18, Woods said, he traveled to Augusta, Georgia, to play a practice round for the Masters. His most recent victory there came in 2005.

If he plays all four rounds of this week’s U.S. PGA Tour event, Woods will have played eight rounds in eight straight days.

‘Felt Great’

“That’s one of the reasons why I played Tavistock,” Woods said. “It felt great at Augusta, and that was the test. I played Tavistock because of that test, and here I am ready to go.”

The Tavistock event marked the first time Woods had played competitively since he pulled out of this year’s second World Golf Championships event midway through the fourth round. Woods said four days later that the injury, a mild Achilles strain, wouldn’t prevent him from playing April 5-8 in the Masters.

Woods secured the latest of his 14 major titles at the 2008 U.S. Open. The most recent of his 71 titles on the U.S. PGA Tour came at the BMW Championship in September 2009. Woods won a limited-field tournament he hosts in California in December, his lone stroke-play victory over the past two years.

at mbuteau@bloomberg.net

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