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Is Tiger ready to roar again as he tees up at PGA Championship?
Three days ago Tiger Woods was barely able to tie his own shoes. Now he’s arrived at Valhalla and is ready to tee up in the PGA Championship. So should fans be concerned or elated by this recent development?
Woods surprised many people when his car rolled through the parking area of Valhalla on Wednesday afternoon, his late arrival for a major championship and having such little time for preparation being only one reason for the shocked faces. He played just nine holes at Valhalla, which he hadn’t seen since winning the PGA Championship in 2000. And what of his back problem? Are we to believe he’s cured?
On Sunday Tiger was forced to withdraw from the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational because of back pain severe enough to make even tying golf shoes a chore for the Nike player. The issue was immediately obvious to everyone watching the event either from the greens or at home; a recurrence of the back injury that has plagued his season.
However, Tiger was quick to squash these thoughts, saying he was suffering from a pinched nerve, but that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the back surgery he had in March of this year which kept him side lined for six gruelling months.
He said his trainer adjusted the area above the sacrum and that helped his game. ''Once he put it back in, the spasms went away,'' Woods said. ''And from there, I started getting some range of motion.''
When asked if he thought the injury could be an underlying problem of this latest setback, Woods said: ''It was a different pain than what I had been experiencing,'' Woods said. ''So I knew it wasn't the site of the surgery. It was different and obviously it was just the sacrum.''
When Woods showed up at this week’s PGA Championship event, dozens of cameras were quickly on hand to capture him putting on his shoes without issue as he stood by his car. He received a raucous cheer just walking onto the practice range and the crowd was six-deep down the first hole. The scene was reminiscent of the Ryder Cup at Valhalla six years ago.
In the nine holes that Woods played with Steve Stricker, Davis Love III and Harris English, he seemed the same as he did last week.
He powered his Nike driver down the first fairway and the crowd lapped it up, before making a mixture of good and bad shots – about what was expected from someone who has played only nine rounds in the last five months.
“Nothing great,'' Woods said. ''It's only Wednesday.''
When asked by someone if he thought he was going to win the event, he replied “Yes.” It was a quick, to the point response and showed that the old Tiger is still alive and well. However, Tiger is not eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs, nor has he given US Team Captain Tom Watson much of a reason to select him as a pick for the Ryder Cup. Woods knows he needs to play well if there’s any chance of making the team he has been a part of so many times in the past.
It’s looking like an exciting time at the PGA Championship, so keep right up to date with all the developments right here at american golf.