Woods' back incident a disturbing sight

By Bailey MosierAugust 26, 2013, 11:55 pm

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Coming down the stretch on the back nine Sunday, Tiger Woods found the fairway at Liberty National’s par-5 13th for the first time all week.

He had birdied the hole in the second and third rounds of The Barclays despite hitting it in the right fairway bunker, but something about this tee shot felt different. Something about this day, this back nine and this found fairway felt special.

Just one shot off the lead after starting the day four back, Woods looked poised, in control and destined to mount a charge. He looked like the Tiger Woods of old.

Photos: Woods felled by back pain

Standing behind his ball, fairway wood in hand, Woods slowly arched his back and held the pose for a few seconds. It was one of the first times all day he had made such a move. He released the tension, walked up to the ball, drew his arms back and lashed downward.

The ball soared into the sky, but hooked left some 80 yards, eventually plopping down in a swampy area on the left side of the forward tee boxes of the adjacent 15th. Woods fell to his knees, then to all fours. Remaining down for several seconds, he no longer looked like the Tiger Woods of old, but rather, an old Tiger Woods.

That image of Woods brought to his knees may forever be tattooed in our minds as foreshadowing of what’s to come.

In 2008, we saw a then-32-year-old Woods limp his way around Torrey Pines for 91 holes, wincing and grimacing every step of the way. Defying logic and physiology, battling two stress fractures in his left knee, he somehow found the will to win the U.S. Open.

Woods’ injuries date back to his college years at Stanford, where he first had surgery as a freshman in 1994 to remove two benign tumors and scar tissue in his left knee. Since, he has had three additional surgeries on the left knee, trouble with his left knee's anterior cruciate ligament, stress fractures to his left tibia, a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right leg, joint inflammation in his neck, a minor sprain of medial collateral ligaments in his left knee, a minor strain of his left Achilles, a left elbow strain and the latest installment – an ailing back.

Of course, we don’t know the extent of Woods’ back troubles. At different junctures throughout the week at The Barclays, he said his back “starts off great every day and then it progressively deteriorates as the day goes on”; that the pain is “isolated”; that the previous week he felt “fine”; that his treatment after each round was “the same thing (he was) doing every night”; that his back was “definitely spasming”; and that whether he would tee it up at the second FedEx Cup Playoffs event was “all hypothetical right now.'

Those are all physical afflictions. There's also whatever psychological damage has been done by the scandal that erupted around him on Thanksgiving 2009.

Whatever his physical and mental condition, he isn't the player he once was. His scoring average on the weekend compared with the first two rounds at an event is miles worse post-scandal than it was before.

In 2013, he’s ranked first in first- and second-round scoring average on Tour. He’s 72nd on Saturday and 105th on Sunday. In 2006, 2007 and 2009 he was first, first and first, respectively, in Sunday scoring average. In 2008 he shut down after the U.S. Open. In 2010 he didn't have enough rounds to qualify for the Tour's official statistics, but his average for 12 final rounds would have ranked 126th. He had only six final rounds in 2011 (would have ranked 12th) and in 15 final rounds in 2012, he ranked 32nd. In 13 tournaments this season, Woods has broken 70 on a Sunday just once – one day ago at The Barclays.

Couple the possible mental hurdles with the ever-growing number of injuries (and his latest swing changes under Sean Foley), and it’s not likely the game’s healthiest player – in terms of bringing in money and attention – will be healthy enough to chase down or catch the thing he wants most, Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors.

Woods will win again, will break Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour wins record and will even win another major. But, just as I conjure the image of Woods dropping to his knees at the 13th hole Sunday, this latest back injury probably isn’t the last notation on Woods’ medical file.

His putt for birdie at the 72nd hole to force a playoff came up one rotation short. So instead of The Barclays being remembered as one of his greatest wins, it may be remembered as one of his greatest winces.

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 22, 2018, 8:30 am

Tiger Woods begins the final round of the 147th Open Championship four shots off the lead. He's out at 9:25 a.m. ET on Sunday and we're tracking him.

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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1