Video by PGA.com
ST. LOUIS — Tiger Woods at instances appears to be like much like the man who gained the PGA Championship 4 instances amongst his 14 main titles, aside from the outcomes.
And aside from the way in which he started the week of the ultimate main of the yr.
He took an ice tub.
“Simply making an attempt to get some irritation down, and simply making an attempt to prepare for the remainder of the week,” Woods mentioned Tuesday, saying solely that the irritation was “in all places,” with out elaborating what triggered it. “And a variety of stretching. Did a lightweight carry yesterday and was able to go for at present.”
Little good that did him.
Rain pounded Bellerive Nation Membership, twice suspending follow rounds. Woods performed solely 5 holes on the course he final noticed the day after the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults, just a few hours earlier than the American Categorical Championship was canceled.
He returns almost as a lot of a thriller as when the yr began.
Simply over two weeks in the past, Woods had full management of his photographs and moved into the lead through the center of the ultimate spherical on the British Open. He was feeling so good about his recreation that he took an all-or-nothing shot out of a pot bunker on the 10th gap that he thought may be a deciding second, and he pulled it off. After which he missed the birdie putt, made a double bogey on the subsequent gap and light away.
Nonetheless, it constructed much more hype about his possibilities heading into the PGA Championship — till he shot 73-73 on the weekend at Firestone, a course that he has dominated as a lot as some other.
It has been like that each one yr.
He was one shot out of the lead on the again 9 at consecutive tournaments in Florida, after which was by no means an element on the Masters. He missed the minimize within the U.S. Open, after which had an opportunity to win the British Open.
His well being has held up properly, particularly coming off his fourth again surgical procedure.
“There’s going to make sure days that I am simply not going to have the pace and the flexibleness and the motion that I as soon as did,” Woods mentioned. “I am 42 now, and I’ve had 4 again surgical procedures. So issues are going to be totally different from everyday, and it is nearly managing it. Earlier than, I did not actually have any of these points early in my profession as a result of I did not have a set level in my again. My knee used to harm rather a lot, however I may mess around that.”
Woods final performed within the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in 2015, when he missed the minimize within the PGA for the second straight yr.
Woods has by no means been a lot for ethical victories, although he has mentioned all year long he considers himself “blessed” merely to be enjoying. There have been sufficient moments this yr, nonetheless — Carnoustie could be certainly one of them — that it would not be a shock if he contended at Bellerive.
“He is received all of the parts of the sport,” Rory McIlroy mentioned. “He is discovered learn how to make a swing work for him once more. He is studying to compete once more. He is studying what it’s a must to do on the again 9 of a serious on Sunday. All these issues, he is been by means of. He is increase all that … I do not need to say expertise, however regardless that he is gained 14 of these items, if you have not carried out it for some time, you continue to need to re-learn just a few issues.”
Woods and McIlroy have gained the identical variety of majors over the past 4 years — none.
McIlroy has made progress in his personal proper, having gone some 18 months with out a victory as he coped with a rib harm till he pulled away from Woods and the remainder of the sector to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
McIlroy since then has performed within the ultimate group thrice, together with on the Masters. He was in competition on the again 9 on the British Open. He nonetheless has just one victory this yr and feels as if he ought to have gained extra.
“In golf, you simply need to be an everlasting optimist,” McIlroy mentioned. “You need to take advantage of all the things it’s a must to see the positives, and simply transfer on and overlook about. And that is what I’ve tried to do that yr.”
The rain interrupted a variety of schedules.
The forecast is affordable for the remainder of the week, at the very least till Saturday, leaving gamers only one extra day to check Bellerive, with its tree-lined fairways and enormous inexperienced complexes. Gamers usually take the ultimate day of follow to get in 9 holes, or possibly do mild work on their video games.
Woods now not has that luxurious. Time is working out, because it pertains to getting ready for the PGA Championship, and for a season that’s being measured in another way. He as soon as mentioned it could not be a terrific yr with out profitable a serious. Profitable tournaments nonetheless may make a superb yr.
“Simply the truth that I am enjoying the tour once more, only for me to have the ability to have this chance once more, it is a dream come true,” he mentioned. “I mentioned this many instances this yr, I did not know if I may do that once more, and lo and behold, right here I’m. So simply coming again and with the ability to play at this stage and compete … I’ve had my share of possibilities to win this yr, as properly, and hopefully I will get it carried out this week.”
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