PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – There were a few poignant moments during Tiger Woods’ news conference following his Players Championship practice round, but none confided more about his knee and Achilles injuries than his allowance that since The Masters, he didn’t take a full swing until Monday and didn’t actually play any rounds until his nine-holer at TPC Sawgrass on Tuesday.
“The knee is better, no doubt. The Achilles is better, as well, so I’m here playing,” Woods said of the injuries he suffered while hitting his second shot on the 17th hole during Round 3 of the Masters five weeks ago.
Though he said both ailments have improved, Woods admitted that neither are currently 100 percent. He has been treating the injuries with anti-inflammatories, ice and elevation daily, leaving him sidelined until this week.
“That’s the way it goes,” he said. “I have a slight injury and you’ve just got to take some time off, listen to the docs and do the proper rehab.”
Woods contended he made his decision to compete in The Players based on “the strength of it, the swelling and the pain – make sure that was all minimal and I felt good.”
In eight starts at this event since winning in 2001, Woods owns just a lone top-10 finish. He withdrew on the seventh hole during last year’s final round due to a neck injury.
On Tuesday, he intimated that he is using this week’s tournament as more of a warm-up to the U.S. Open than anything else.
“The whole idea is that I peak four times a year,” he said. “I’m trying to get ready for Congressional and I need some playing time. I missed playing last week [at the Wells Fargo Championship] at a golf course I truly love playing, but I really want to get out there and play and compete. This is a big event and I want to be here and play.”
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