DUBLIN, Ohio – Locked in what would turn into a pivotal singles match on Sunday at the Presidents Cup with Richard Sterne, Tiger Woods took a vicious cut at his second shot with a fairway wood at the par-5 15th hole and immediately reached for his back.
It’s been a familiar snapshot in recent weeks and Woods would move gingerly and favor his back for the rest of a match that would come to the 18th hole, where he eventually clinched the cup for the American side.
“I was just trying to just hang on,” said Woods, who moved to 1 up with a par at the 16th hole. “The problem was, I knew I wasn't feeling good, and if I happened to mess up 18 and we had to continue playing until it's been decided. I was like, I really don't want to play anymore. Just can I win, can I halve this last hole, somehow, and it ended up being that way.”
Woods, who two-putted for par from 36 feet at the last to win his match, said he wasn’t concerned about his continued back issues and expects a few weeks of rest will help the healing process.
Although the world No. 1 didn’t show any signs of pain throughout the week until his second shot at the 15th hole, the weather-delays and marathon days took a toll. His next scheduled event is an exhibition in China on Oct. 28 followed by the Turkish Airlines Open in Turkey Nov. 7-10.
“Obviously his back has been bothering him for six weeks,” said U.S. assistant captain Davis Love III. “He got up to walk out of the room in one of the delays and I watched him walk out and then I watched Lindsey (Vonn) watch him walk out and you could tell he was stiff and tired already and we had a long way to go.”