Tiger Woods says neck injury wasn't fun, but he's feeling good before Players

Tiger Woods arrives at TPC Sawgrass on March 11 ahead of the Players Championship at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Steve DiMeglio, Golfweek Steve DiMeglio/Golfweek

Tiger Woods says neck injury wasn't fun, but he's feeling good before Players

PGA Tour

Tiger Woods says neck injury wasn't fun, but he's feeling good before Players

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PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – “I feel good, man.”

Those were the words of Tiger Woods as he arrived Monday at TPC Sawgrass to begin preparing for The Players Championship, the PGA Tour’s flagship event that begins Thursday.

Woods arrived just past noon ET, registered and had lunch. Then he spent nearly three hours putting, chipping and going through his entire bag on the range.

He said he’ll play a 9-hole practice round Tuesday before meeting with the media.

Last Monday, Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which he’s won a record eight times, with a neck strain. His announcement on Twitter also said his surgically repaired back was fine, but the Twitter message still sent shockwaves throughout the golf industry.

“I didn’t want to push it. No need to,” Woods said of his decision to bypass one of his favorite tournaments. “Not at my age. Can’t do that anymore.”

The 43-year-old said he didn’t practice at all – no chipping, no putting, no hitting of range balls – until he began light practice Saturday. He said he loved getting back on Bermuda grass to putt after his disappointing performance on the greens in the WGC-Mexico Championship three weeks ago.

“Everything is good,” Woods said. “I feel good. I needed last week off.”

Woods received treatment before and after each round at the Mexico Championship and wore KT Tape on his upper back en route to a tie for 10th. Woods said he isn’t planning on wearing KT Tape this week.

“I could feel it,” in Mexico, Woods said of his neck injury. “It wasn’t fun. I couldn’t make a backswing. I couldn’t make a follow through. I couldn’t make a complete swing.”

And, he joked, “I putted so well.”

Woods, who is paired with defending champion Webb Simpson and reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed in the first two rounds this week, has played three times this year. The winner of 80 PGA Tour titles and 14 majors finished in a tie for 20th in the Farmers Insurance Open, in a tie for 15th in the Genesis Open and in a tie for 10th in Mexico.

 

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