Thursday 18 December 2014

Tiger Woods: 'I need to get stronger'

Published 09/08/2014 | 14:29

Tiger Woods looking distressed at Valhalla
Tiger Woods looking distressed at Valhalla

Tiger Woods missed just his fourth cut in 66 majors as a professional after suffering yet more back trouble before the second round of the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Woods said he suffered a recurrence of the injury which forced his withdrawal from the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday as he warmed up on the range and looked in pain on the course.

But the former world number one insisted on playing all 18 holes and returned a second successive 74 to finish six over par, five shots outside the cut.

Asked if his body was telling him on the course he should withdraw, Woods said: "It was telling me on the range it probably was not a good idea but I am not exactly a non-stubborn person.

"It was sore. It went out on me on the range so I just had to play through it. When I was warming up I hit a four iron and felt the same thing I had last week. It's a matter of getting through it.

"It was tough. I hit a lot of shots out there, 74 of them. It was a long day. I tried as hard as I could but unfortunately did not play well. Consequently a pair of 74s is not very good."

Woods underwent back surgery on March 31 and did not return to action until the end of June, missing the cut in the Quicken Loans National and then finishing 69th in the Open at Royal Liverpool, his worst 72-hole finish in a major in the paid ranks.

The 38-year-old withdrew after hitting his tee shot on the ninth hole of his final round at Firestone Country Club on Sunday and only arrived at Valhalla on Wednesday afternoon.

After playing nine holes of practice he said he was pain-free after his physio had "popped back in" the sacrum bone in his back.

"It was the same pain and spasms (today)," he added. "I need to get stronger.

"I felt like I was not that far away when I came back at Quicken Loans, but obviously the more I play... you can't develop strength the same time as you are playing a lot. I need to get back in that gym and get stronger."

Woods said he did not know when he would play again and that US captain Tom Watson had not been in contact to discuss the possibility of a Ryder Cup wild card.

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