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Tiger Woods’ comments after “pain-free” practice round continue to stoke fires of optimism

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Good news, Tiger Woods fans. TW played a pain-free practice round at the Hero World Challenge site on Sunday, suggesting further that optimism about this return isn’t totally unfounded.

Woods told ESPN’s Bob Harig: “The fact that I don’t have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it’s just remarkable.”

The 14-time major champion reportedly played a brisk 18-hole practice round using a cart that took just over two hours.

Regarding his Hero return, Woods said.

“It could be the next step, I just didn’t know [when the pain would occur]. That’s tough to live with. And it’s been a struggle for years. To finally come out on the good side of it is exciting. I am stiffer. Of course, [his lower back is] fused. But I don’t have the pain. Life is so much better.”

He added he’s shocked just how good his back feels.

“I am a little surprised…The fact that I don’t have any pain in my lower back compared to what I was living with for years, it’s just remarkable.”

Woods added he enjoyed measuring his game against world No. 1 Dustin Johnson during his Friday round at Trump National. He did not add, however, that he was disappointed with the comparison; which is certainly a good sign.

Ultimately, though, John Wood, Matt Kuchar’s caddie, talking as part of Golf.com’s Tour Confidential panel, offered the take we surely all second about Woods’ return.

“The three things I would love to see is a pain-free golf swing, a lot of drivers off the tee and, like Michael said, joy. I hope he looks like a junior golfer out there sometimes, with a smile and having fun. I think that’ll be a good starting point.”

Indeed. Woods will make his return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Thursday. Tee times for the 18-player tournament are yet to be announced.

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4 Comments

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  1. Tom54

    Nov 27, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Tiger has been battling all sorts of injuries for many years. It would be nice if he could play all year without withdrawing cause of the nagging back issues. Until he can accomplish that I will hold my breath and see. No doubt he still knows how to play and compete it’s whether he can get to a level that he will accept. I hope he will enjoy playing again to see how he stacks up with the youngsters that he definitely inspired. He’s been away a while but I hope he has a good time and can get back in the mix. Golf may not need Tiger like in the past but there’s always room for him. We wish him well

  2. Jack Nash

    Nov 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    It’ll be good to see Joe again.

  3. Mike Honcho

    Nov 27, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I hope he shoots 12-over.

  4. jd57

    Nov 27, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Trump National??!! TRIGGERED!!

    Seriously though, that’s great. Love seeing people be healthy and pain free.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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Sung Kang finally responds to cheating allegations

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Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled British Open programming, but Sung Kang stated today he still doesn’t think he didn’t anything wrong. “I followed the rules by the rules official…I think I did the right thing,” he said after his opening round at The Open.

Joel Dahmen, if you recall, accused the 31-year-old pro of taking a bad drop at the 10th hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National.

The comments were Kang’s first public remarks since a statement co-released with the PGA Tour which said, “He is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment.”

While he stopped short of giving his side of the story, Kang did indeed make “further comment.”

Here’s some of what he said.

“I did not want to say anything bad about Joel. Because there can be difference of opinions. But the way he just said it on Twitter was not right. There can be different opinions. And also, it was made a decision by the rules official. So nothing was wrong.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened, but no comment because I’m not going to say anything. I think I made the right decision. … Even when I say something, a few people still kind of think i still did something wrong. And if someone believes in me, they aren’t going to trust what Joel said.”

“No matter what I say, some people are going to trust it, some people are not going to trust it. And then I’m going to be thinking about it more and more. So I’m just focusing on my golf game.”

The British press asked Kang if he wishes he had done anything differently.

“No. Why? I did the right thing,” Kang replied.

Now, I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but the rules official wasn’t in position to do anything other than leave things at the player’s discretion, which he did. So, it’s misleading–if not downright deceptive–for Kang to suggest otherwise.

The official didn’t see the shot. There was no video of it. The only thing he had to rely on was the accounts of those who did see it. In a situation where accounts vary, and with the Rules of Golf relying on player integrity as they do, all he could do was leave the ball in Kang’s court. Thus, the decision as to where to drop was wholly Sung Kang’s.

Again, this isn’t to say the drop was necessarily bad, bad to play the “decision by the rules official” card is, well, a bad drop.

 

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