Tiger Woods pronounced himself “pain free” after playing nine holes today at Valhalla in advance of the PGA Championship, which Woods is scheduled to begin at 8:35 a.m. Thursday.
After days of speculation about whether he would be able to play in the season’s final major championship, Woods arrived at Valhalla shortly after noon and played a practice round with Davis Love III and Steve Stricker.
“I feel good,” Woods said before going out to walk the back nine late Wednesday.
Woods said the issue that caused him to withdraw on the ninth hole of the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday was unrelated to the back surgery that sidelined him nearly four months earlier this season.
“It was not the site of the surgery,” Woods said this afternoon. “This is totally different.”
Woods said he jarred his sacrum loose when he jumped back into a fairway bunker after hitting an awkward shot on the second hole Sunday at Firestone. The sacrum is a bone near the base of the lumbar spine and the dislocation led to spasms.
After working with a physiotherapist who put the bone back in place, Woods said his symptoms subsided. He said his physiotherapist is with him in Louisville, Ky., and could treat a recurrence of the injury should it occur.
Woods said he is not on pain medication “because I have no pain” but he is on anti-inflammatory medication. He sounded encouraged about his practice session.
“I got my speed back. I got my power back. I just need to keep it up,” Woods said. “I felt pretty good about how I played and the shots I hit.”