Tiger Woods: I am going to have to shut down at times


Woods pulled out of last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational citing a neck strain, which raised the possibility that he might also miss the PGA Tour's flagship event. People trying to be amusing and that, I get a good laugh out of it and I'm okay with that.

Day had four injections in his back injury in a bid to get right this week. "I've got to stay on it and have to stay as loose as I possibly can for as long as I play out here".

Webb Simpson won The Players a year ago and will be joined in the field by an impressive list of former champions that includes Woods, Mickelson, Jason Day (2016) of Australia, Rickie Fowler (2015), Martin Kaymer (2014), Matt Kuchar (2012), Henrik Stenson (2009) of Sweden, Sergio Garcia (2008) of Spain, Si Woo Kim (2017) of South Korea and Adam Scott (2004) of Australia.

"I have to stay fit and it's about managing it the best I can and not push it".

"It's a very simple formula here", stated Woods. "I have to be conscious that I can't practice like I used to", he said. That's how it is going to be going forward. However, he also has five missed the cut five times.

"It was a week I just had to go through, I guess, and sometimes finishing 63rd is a wake-up call too, just gives that you lit tle bit of extra intensity coming into this week to make you realize that the game isn't easy and you got to put in the work and make sure you tick all the boxes to prepare".

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For one of the biggest tournaments of the season, scoring around TPC Sawgrass in the last ten editions has been relatively low, with an average winning score of 14 under par. "I had to shut it down to get ready for this week". I have personally chosen to ride Rory, JT, Sergio, and Hideki this weekend and we will see how it all shakes out.

"I wanted him to take a look at it, and then he mentioned a few things", Woods said. That T63 finish at Bay Hill was his worst result in a made cut in almost two years.

"The truth is that I had a little teach before that putt".

That's because the tournament, which annually features the best field of the season on the PGA Tour, has moved back from May to its original playing date in March and Pete Dye's classic course figures to play much differently. I could see the Danish pair of Thorbjorn Olesen and Lucas Bjerregard out-performing their respective odds of 200/1 and 225/1 but the stand-out at bigger prices is Matthew Fitzpatrick at 90/1, after an excellent second behind the Italian last week.

"I've played three tournaments this year so far, and that's about right, " Woods said.

"We are going to make certain that our players understand how we're working with our industry partners, what our thinking is that we're sharing with our industry partners and that this game will be well served by having two great professional governing bodies, " Monahan said. "This spot that we're in, that we haven't been in before, has caused a lot of conversation, and I think it's fair that these kind of subjects are brought up".