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.

PGA Championship: Articles, videos and photos

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.”

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 20, 2018, 10:15 am

Following an even-par 71 in the first round of the 147th Open Championship, Tiger Woods looks to make a move on Day 2 at Carnoustie.

Getty Images

McIlroy responds to Harmon's 'robot' criticism

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2018, 6:53 am

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy said during his pre-championship news conference that he wanted to play more "carefree" – citing Jon Rahm’s approach now and the way McIlroy played in his younger days.

McIlroy got off to a good start Thursday at Carnoustie, shooting 2-under 69, good for a share of eighth place.

But while McIlroy admits to wanting to be a little less structured on the course, he took offense to comments made by swing coach Butch Harmon during a Sky Sports telecast.

Said Harmon:

“Rory had this spell when he wasn’t putting good and hitting the ball good, and he got so wrapped up in how he was going to do it he forgot how to do it.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“He is one of the best players the game has ever seen. If he would just go back to being a kid and playing the way he won these championships and play your game, don’t have any fear or robotic thoughts. Just play golf. Just go do it.

“This is a young kid who’s still one of the best players in the world. He needs to understand that. Forget about your brand and your endorsement contracts. Forget about all that. Just go back to having fun playing golf. I still think he is one of the best in the world and can be No.1 again if he just lets himself do it.”

McIlroy, who has never worked with Harmon, responded to the comments when asked about them following his opening round.

“Look, I like Butch. Definitely, I would say I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than someone that's mechanical and someone that's – you know, it's easy to make comments when you don't know what's happening,” McIlroy said. “I haven't spoken to Butch in a long time. He doesn't know what I'm working on in my swing. He doesn't know what's in my head. So it's easy to make comments and easy to speculate. But unless you actually know what's happening, I just really don't take any notice of it.”

McIlroy second round at The Open began at 2:52 a.m. ET.

Getty Images

How The Open cut line is determined

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:57 am

Scores on Day 1 of the 147th Open Championship ranged from 5-under 66 to 11-over 82.

The field of 156 players will be cut nearly in half for weekend play at Carnoustie. Here’s how the cut line works in the season’s third major championship:

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

• After 36 holes, the low 70 players and ties will advance to compete in the final two rounds. Anyone finishing worse than that will get the boot. Only those making the cut earn official money from the $10.5 million purse.

• There is no 10-shot rule. That rule means anyone within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds, regardless of where they stand in the championship, make the cut. It’s just a flat top 70 finishers and ties.

• There is only a single cut at The Open. PGA Tour events employ an MDF (Made cut Did not Finish) rule, which narrows the field after the third round if more than 78 players make the cut. That is not used at this major.

The projected cut line after the first round this week was 1 over par, which included 71 players tied for 50th or better.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 5:30 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  

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; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (