Tiger Woods Talks Back Stiffness and ‘Concern’ Over Upcoming Schedule

Ruben Hill
August 8, 2019

Tiger Woods addressed the media after playing a modified nine holes Wednesday at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., ahead of the Northern Trust Open and FedEx Cup Playoffs, and reiterated what he's said all season regarding the state of his game and health: "It's a challenge".

"It's kind of what I did pre-Augusta when I went out there and just chipped and putted for nine holes".

The hole was a bit of a microcosm for Tiger Woods's day, as the 43-year-old suffered stiffness in his lower back that forced him to only chip and putt for the final nine holes of the golf course. Since he won a fifth green jacket at the Masters, he has played just four times, three of them majors.

He missed the cut at the PGA Championship, tied for ninth at the Memorial Tournament, tied for 21st at the U.S. Open and then missed the cut three weeks ago at The Open, where he never seemed to get on track in the cold weather.

Woods practiced with Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Harold Varner on Tuesday. Yesterday I was out there hitting it great. Driving it out there with Brooksy and D.J. Today, I'm stiff.

"There's concern, hopefully because of the pressures I'm going to be facing", Woods said.

The Northern Trust begins the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs, starting with two tournaments with $9.25 million purses, ending at the Tour Championship for the top 30 players competing for the $15 million prize.

But the top 125 points earners who qualified for the Northern Trust will be cut to 70, who advance to next week's BMW Championship, after which the top 30 will be decided.

The American has not played since being cut at six over at the British Major won by the Irishman Shane Lowry last month.

Woods added, "I can't practice as much as I'd like".

"Coming back from my procedure previous year, I pushed it pretty hard. That's what's guaranteed", Woods said. "As I said to you guys all year, this is how it is".

Woods hasn't seen an enormous amount of success in this tournament, but has played well at Liberty National. You're taking weekends off and a couple extra days of rest.

"He's Tiger Woods. He doesn't need to prove anything to anyone", said four-time major victor Rory McIlroy. "I'm trying to get myself where I'm in contention, where it takes a toll on you, and that's what I want to feel. He's a competitor. I think it shows a lot that he still turns up to some events and wants to play".

Woods ranks 12th in the standings for making the Presidents Cup team with two events remaining but says his being there as a player is not assured. "That's a good feeling". "Same thing", explained Woods, who said he began feeling "stiff" early in his round.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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