Woods says ready to go at Valhalla

Wed Aug 6, 2014 5:39pm EDT
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOUISVILLE Kentucky (Reuters) - The waiting game ended when Tiger Woods pronounced himself pain-free and ready to compete in this week's PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club after playing nine holes in practice on Wednesday afternoon.

His fitness for the year's final major had been in some doubt after he was forced to withdraw midway through the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio on Sunday.

However, Woods said the problem was resolved when his sacrum (a bone at the base of the spine), which had popped out after he landed awkwardly in a bunker at Firestone Country Club, was put back in by his physiotherapist.

"My sacrum went out, it pinched the nerve and hence the spasms," Woods told a large group of reporters behind the clubhouse at Valhalla before he set off to walk the back nine.

"Once the bone was put back in, it was all good. The spasms went away and I started to get some range of motion. I'm not in any pain. That is the good part."

Asked if he was capable of winning this week to end a title drought at the majors of more than six years despite his limited tournament preparation, Woods replied: "Yes."

Asked what he needed to do the best at Valhalla, he said: "Hit it good and make the putts."

The 14-times major winner, who has dealt with a string of injuries during his career and had surgery in late March to treat a pinched nerve in his back, had delayed his decision on whether or not to compete while receiving medical treatment.   Continued...

 
Tiger Woods of the U.S. chips onto the 8th green during the third day of practice for the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky, August 6, 2014.     REUTERS/ John Sommers II