Boning up: Woods explains latest injury

By Ryan LavnerAugust 6, 2014, 9:59 pm

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With the crowd packed eight deep around the ninth hole, Tiger Woods nonchalantly rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt, then turned his attention to scouting the rest of the green.

That Woods was even at Valhalla on Wednesday was surprising enough.  

That he said that he was “pain-free” merely added to what has already been a surreal PGA Championship.

After three days of endless speculation, Woods arrived at 1:16 p.m. ET Wednesday, changed his shoes in the parking lot – where a large media contingent had gathered – and made his way to the range, where he beat balls, full speed, for a half-hour.

Woods played Valhalla’s front nine, showing no ill effects of the back injury that caused him to withdraw Sunday after eight holes of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. After stopping for an impromptu interview, he set off with caddie Joe LaCava to walk the back nine, hitting only a few chips and putts on a course he hadn’t seen since his memorable PGA win back in 2000.

“I feel good,” Woods said.

The injury that knocked him out at Firestone?  Woods says his sacrum – a bone located at the bottom of the spine – shifted out of position when he jumped into a fairway bunker on the second hole. He struggled for six more holes, hit his tee shot on No. 9 and called for a cart, his day done. Woods hobbled off, braced himself on the back of his courtesy car, then sat in the passenger seat as LaCava drove off into what seemed like an uncertain future.

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Immediately, there was concern that Woods had reinjured his surgically repaired back. He underwent a microdiscectomy March 31, and the Bridgestone was only his third start since going under the knife. Woods said Wednesday, however, that the discomfort he experienced in Akron was a “different pain” than what he felt in the months leading up to the initial surgery.

When Woods landed in the bunker, he said the bone was jarred loose – thus the spasms and intense pain. His physio “put it back in, and we’ve just been treating it,” he said.

“Once the bone is put back in, it’s all good,” Woods added. “The inflammation has been down; I’ve had range of motion. As you saw out there, I got my speed, my power, and I just need to obviously keep moving.”

Woods’ physiotherapist is on-site this week, and he said that he is taking only anti-inflammatories. There was no need for pain medication. “I’m not in any pain,” he said. That’s the good part.”

Despite constant chatter about whether he would tee it up, Woods said that he determined Tuesday afternoon that he would fly from his home in South Florida here to Louisville. Prior to Wednesday’s practice round, the only balls he had hit since Sunday were in a bay at his home, and he videotaped slow-motion swings to make sure “that my swing was where I wanted it.”

Some have suggested that Woods is taking an unnecessary risk by playing this week, just four months removed from surgery and only a week from a scary setback.  

When asked if there was any chance for reinjury this week, he said, “Yeah, of course there is. Just don’t jump in the bunkers.”

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Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.