Tiger Woods said he feels “so much better” than last week, when he withdrew from the Northern Trust with a strained oblique. He played the front nine at Medinah Country Club on Wednesday morning in the BMW Championship pro-am, going 4-under on his own ball. He chipped, putted and hit some bunker shots and half-wedges on the back nine.
“Played well,” he said, “which was nice to see, nice to feel.”
Woods said the injury flared up after he made a swing adjustment. Apparently that’s not advisable for a guy with a fused back.
“If it’s not one thing, it’s another,” he said. “Things just pop up. That’s been one of the biggest challenges coming back from last year. You saw I’m making tweaks and changes, trying to play around this back. I’m trying to be explosive and have enough rest time and training time.”
The media-room scuttle was that Woods tweaked the oblique last Tuesday during a practice round as he tried to match bombs off the tee with playing partners Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson.
Caddie Joe LaCava swatted away that theory Wednesday, telling the Tribune: “C’mon, jeez. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. He’s 43 years old. He knows better. He admires how far those guys hit it. He knows that’s not how he’s going to beat those guys.”
LaCava said Woods might have withdrawn Friday to give himself a decent chance this week at a course where he has won two majors. Woods needs to finish alone at 11th or better to accrue enough FedEx Cup points to qualify for next week’s Tour Championship.
“I always like his chances,” LaCava said, “but it’s a day-to-day thing, know what I mean? The oblique can sometimes act up. I’m not a doctor. To me, he looked good today. Could that change overnight? Possibly. Think the fact he got a lot of treatment over the last three to four days has helped a lot. I see him playing well this week.”
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