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Devil Ball Golf

Video: Tiger Woods battles stiff back to stay in contention at The Barclays

Jonathan Wall
Devil Ball Golf

For about four hours on Friday afternoon, the golf world held its collective breath as Tiger Woods hobbled his way around Bethpage Black's rolling layout. Just five months removed from the sight of Woods hobbling off the course and being whisked away in a golf cart at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, it felt like we could be in for a similar situation at The Barclays, after Woods appeared to tweak something early in the round.

The Twitterverse and Golf Channel talking heads started to speculate right away. Was it the knee giving him trouble again? What about his Achilles? Or maybe the back?

For the rest of the round, cameras tracked Woods' every move as he grabbed his back after tee-shots, gingerly bent over to pull his ball out of the cup and slowly walked down the fairway (sometimes with a slight limp) for most of the day. It didn't look good.

But in the end, all the speculation turned out to be nothing more that a rough night's sleep on a soft hotel mattress that left Woods' back feeling incredibly stiff when he woke up.

"Must have slept funny on it," Woods said.  "Soft beds at the hotel, and woke up this morning with it stiff.  You know, as I warmed up, it got progressively worse, and then you saw what happened on the golf course."

[Related: Tiger Woods in the mix at The Barclays; Sergio Garcia tied for lead]

Even though Woods appeared to be in some serious discomfort for most of the round, he somehow managed to put together a 2-under 69 to get within three shots of co-leaders Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia at the halfway point of the tournament, and said after his round that the back wouldn't keep him from teeing it up on Saturday.

So what's Tiger going to do to fix the bed situation? Let's just say he isn't going down to the local discount mattress center to find a replacement. Instead, he's doing something many of us have likely done in the past: he's sleeping on the floor.

"I'm probably going to sleep on the floor," Woods said. "I do that in Europe all the time, so this is nothing new."

There you go. Tiger Woods will be spending the night on the floor of his hotel room. If Woods comes out looking refreshed tomorrow, expect him to spend Saturday night on the floor as well.

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