• Golf

Tiger Woods back to full fitness

ESPN staff
August 30, 2013
Tiger Woods was only going to play nine holes, but instead went the full 18 © Getty Images

Tiger Woods returned inside the ropes for the Deutsche Bank Championship pro-am on Thursday and showed no ill effects of the back problems that hampered him at The Barclays.

The world No. 1 said he had originally planned to play just nine holes, having not swung a club since the 18th at Liberty National on Sunday. Instead, he went the full 18 with his foursome of amateurs that included New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Woods noted that despite the cold conditions, he was able to hit his driver without incident.

"I hit driver pretty much almost every hole today," Woods, who leads the FedEx Cup standings, said.

"It was soft, drizzly, cold - cold for a Florida kid. So it required a bunch of drivers. And I had no problems hitting them and it felt good to be able to have that feeling again, considering the last time I swung a club it wasn't that way.

"It was a pleasant surprise to go out there and play without any discomfort," said Woods, who currently leads the FedExCup standings.

"It's a lot better than obviously on Sunday. It was nice to go out and feel comfortable and be able to hit shots.

"I wanted to get back here. This is one of my favorite tournaments and a golf course I like. I've played well here over the years.

"It was nice to have that extra day between tournaments. It made a big difference."

Earlier this week, Woods withdrew from a charity tournament hosted by friend and former Stanford team-mate Notah Begay III.

Woods' status for the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs was uncertain, but after Thursday's round, it appears he will be in the field of 100 starting Friday morning.

The 37-year-old's back problems were caused last week by what he said was a soft hotel mattress. He finished tied for second at the Barclays, one shot behind Adam Scott, with whom he will play the first round at TPC Boston, alongside Open champion Phil Mickelson.

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