FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Maybe he’ll get his private yacht brought up to one of the countless tony clubs here on Long Island. Or perhaps he’ll make like he’s in Europe and sleep on the floor.
Either way, Tiger Woods left the Black Course at Bethpage State Park determined to get a better night’s sleep.
Then again, why? The bad one he had Thursday – one that resulted in lower-back pain – didn’t seem to hinder his second-round performance all that much on Friday. Through all the winces, the grunts, the crouches and the gingerly bends, Woods brushed off a bogey-bogey start with a 2-under 69 to put himself into the thick of things at The Barclays.
Getting halfway home in 5-under 137, Woods is tied for seventh, just three off the lead.
That’s the good news.
The bad? He looked anything but comfortable, which clearly was the lead item in his post-round meeting with the media. Woods said he can assume only that he slept “funny” the night before because he woke up in pain.
“Soft beds at the hotel,” Woods said. “As I warmed up, it got progressively worse, and then you saw what happened on the golf course.”
Time after time, Woods was shown wincing, though the agony didn’t translate into misery. Woods matched his Round 1 stats – 9 of 14 fairways and 13 greens in regulation – and played bogey-free for the final 16 holes.
One of his biggest winces came at the par-4 10th. The pain was so bad that he walked slowly into a tent next to the tee where players can collect snacks, fruits and drinks. Woods stayed there for nearly a minute before proceeding to walk to his drive some 322 yards away.
That’s right. In pain, he unloaded it 322 yards, one hole after driving it 310, and a few holes before toasting it out there at 311 and 315.
“That’s about all I’ve got,” Woods said, when asked about his swing, which looked effective, though laborious. “I can’t hit it any harder than that. It didn’t feel very good, but I got it around.”
Asked if it compared to 2008, the memorable U.S. Open when he played on a bad leg in winning his 14th major championship, he said: “There’s a difference between being in pain and injured. This is just a little bit of pain. That was an injury.”
Asked how he scored and performed so well, Woods said it was “a section of movement” that hurt only in certain actions. “It would grab just before impact, so you’d kind of expect it. I could get through that. I’ve been through that kind of stuff before, so I know what it feels like.”
Though he has been relatively healthy in 2012, Woods said withdrawing never entered into his mind. He is accustomed to the stop-and-go way of the sports world.
“That’s been the case since my first surgery, in ’94. I’ve been dealing with this stuff since I was 18.”
Apparently, it’s a no-go on getting the yacht here in time, but it’s also no joke about sleeping on the floor. “I do that in Europe all the time, so this is nothing new,” he said.