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Tiger limited by stiff back, concerned about playoff workload

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JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Tiger Woods put himself on a pitch count Wednesday at The Northern Trust.

Well, it was a pitch count at least based on how the 43-year-old normally prepares for a PGA Tour event.

Woods didn’t hit a tee shot after the seventh hole during his pro-am round at Liberty National and opted to only chip and putt over the final nine holes.

“Just feeling stiff, being smart about it. What I did pre-Augusta, where I chipped and putted for nine holes. Same thing,” explained Woods, who said he began feeling “stiff” early in his round. “This is kind of how it is. Some days I’m stiffer than others.”

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The Northern Trust is Woods’ first start since missing the cut at last month’s Open Championship, where he was slowed by the cold and wet conditions. It was a similar story at the PGA Championship in May (missed cut) and the U.S. Open in June (T-21).

Some of Woods’ caution is likely rooted in his possible schedule the next three weeks. He’s currently just inside the top 30 at No. 28 on the FedExCup point list, and if he qualifies for the Tour Championship, which he won last year, that would mean he’d have to play three consecutive weeks for the first time this season.

“There is concern,” he said. “I'm trying to get myself where I'm in contention, where it takes a toll on you, and that's what I want to feel. I want to feel that type of tiredness where I have a chance to win, had a chance to win, had a chance to win. That's a good feeling.”