The Players: Tiger Woods gives positive update on neck strain

Monday 11th March 2019 18:00 GMT

Woods arrived at TPC Sawgrass in Florida on Monday in fine spirits after being forced to pull out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last week, citing a neck strain that he had been battling "for a few weeks".

His decision to withdraw from one of his favourite events of the year, and one that he has won eight times, appeared to be a big concern ahead of The Players while it also raised doubts over whether he would be fit enough to compete at The Masters in a little over four weeks' time.

But Woods made an early appearance at Sawgrass and spoke briefly to Golfweek journalist Steve DiMeglio before heading to the range, although he revealed he would not play a practice round until Tuesday morning.

"I feel good," said Woods before officially registering for this week's tournament. "Everything is good, I feel good, I just needed last week off.

"I didn't want to push it. No need to, not at my age. I can't do that anymore."

Woods also admitted the problem came to a head during the WGC-Mexico Championship, where he defied the pain by earning a tie for 10th place.

The 43-year-old underwent intense treatment twice a day at the Club de Golf Chapultepec and wore medical tape to alleviate the problem, although he believes he will not need the tape this week.

"I could feel it in Mexico," Woods added. "It wasn't fun. I couldn't make a backswing, I couldn't make a follow through, and I couldn't make a complete swing."

Woods has been grouped with defending champion Webb Simpson and reigning Masters champion Patrick Reed for the opening two rounds of The Players Championship.

Tune into Sky Sports The Players for extensive build-up to golf's "fifth major", with live coverage beginning with the early first-round Featured Groups on Thursday at 11:30am.

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