Tiger Woods said today that his neck problem is unrelated to his accident almost six months ago, but he still isn’t sure the exact nature of the injury that caused him to withdraw Sunday from The Players Championship.
Woods answered questions from reporters during his appearance Monday as defending champion at the AT&T National media day at Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia.
There was good news, bad news there.
The good news is that the injury isn’t so severe that he had to cancel his media day appearance and seek immediate treatment. The bad news is that he’s still unsure what’s wrong with his neck or how long he’ll be out. It's also unclear why he never mentioned the neck problem when going over his injuries with reporters Friday at The Players.
Woods said he hasn’t had an MRI since leaving The Players and won’t know the extent of the neck problem until he returns to his Orlando home.
“I have not had any treatment except right after the round,” Woods said. “I flew up here. As soon as I fly back to Orlando, I will have more treatment and will have an MRI and see what’s going on with it.”
Woods was expected to defend his title at the Memorial in three weeks and play the U.S. Open in five weeks.
“I obviously want to defend at Memorial and play the U.S. Open and [the AT&T National],” Woods said. “A lot of that is up in the air. I’ll have more answers when I get this looked at.”
Woods said there was “zero” connection between the accident and the injury. He said the neck began bothering him when he intensified his practice to get ready for the Masters after having so much time off. He said he can't fix his swing with a neck that won't allow him to turn properly.
'I want to practice, I want to compete, but this is not allowing me to do the proper things in my golf swing to hit the shots,' Woods said.
Woods tied for fourth in his return to golf at the Masters, but his swing was out of sync when he missed the cut at Quail Hollow three weeks later. Though he made the cut at The Players, he still struggled with some wild tee shots.
'I like to spend lot of time working on my game,' Woods said. 'Possibly one of the reasons this flared up is I wasn’t conditioned to it. I was gone so long, and ramped up really quickly to try to play the Masters. The body wasn’t quite ready for that.'
Woods was asked about specific injuries at The Players. Though he showed clear signs his neck was bothering him there, he never divulged the problem when answering questions about his injuries.