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Tour Report: Woods battles bad back to shoot 69

PGATOUR.com
Woods news conference after Round 2 at The Barclays

Tiger Woods meets with the media and talks about how he overcame a sore back to shoot 69 in Rd. 2.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

FARMINGDALE N.Y. — He didn’t tweak his lower back as many people thought when he uncorked one of those massive drives during the second round of The Barclays.

Nope. Tiger Woods thinks the damage was done when he slept awkwardly on a soft bed at his hotel Thursday night.

"As I warmed up, it got progressively worse, and then you saw what happened on the golf course," Woods said simply.

In between the occasional grimace, cautious squat and steps taken gingerly, though, Woods managed to shoot a solid 69 that left him at 5 under and three strokes off the lead held jointly by Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia.

“So I’m right there," he said. "This is a very bunched leaderboard. There are so many guys there. I think, what, 70-plus guys within nine shots as of right now."

Woods answered back-to-back bogeys to start his round with three birdies in a four-hole stretch that began at the par-5 fourth hole. He hung tough on the back nine, too, and picked up his final birdie on a 17-footer at the 14th hole.

Woods, who is tied for seventh with Rickie Fowler, Gary Christian and John Huh, acknowledged that his back hurt throughout the day. At no point, though, was he worried that he might not be able to finish the round.

"It didn’t feel very good, but I got it around, and just because the swing didn’t feel very good doesn’t mean I can’t make every putt," said Woods, who one-putted seven times on Friday. "I went out there with that kind of mindset and just buried a bunch of putts."

Woods said the pain was actually very specific, so he was able to compensate when necessary.

"It was like a section of movement, so it didn’t hurt standing up, it didn’t hurt at the bottom of a squat, but it was the somewhere in-between there it was going to catch," he explained. "It would grab just before impact, so you’d kind of expect it, so I could get through that.

“I’ve been through that kind of stuff before, so I know what it feels like."

As soon as he was done with his post-round interviews, Woods climbed in a golf cart with his security team and headed straight for the fitness trailer. He had no doubt that he would be able to answer the bell, errr, make his tee time on Saturday afternoon.

"They’re good at what they do, and I’ll be ready by tomorrow," Woods said.

As for Friday night?

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


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