US PGA Championship: Tiger Woods “pain free and feeling good” 3 days after back spasms force withdrawal

American superstar explains that a pinched nerve caused him to pull out of tournament last weekend and says he aims to win the year’s final Major

GettyTiger feat: Woods insists he is fit enough to compete for the US PGA title this week
Tiger Woods has declared himself fit and raring to go in the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, writes Neil McLeman in Kentucky.

The former World No.1 was a major injury doubt after pulling out of the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday with back spasms.

It was only his third event since returning in June after over two months out following spinal surgery.

But he played the front nine here on Wednesday, before walking the back nine.

He said: “I feel good. It was a pinched nerve caused by my sacrum (a bone in the lower back) which was causing spasms and the physio put it back in. There is no danger of aggravating it.

“I am pain-free, although I am taking anti-inflammatories. I decided I could play yesterday.

“I played alright today – nothing great. It is only Wednesday. I want all the good stuff for tomorrow!

“I am going to go out and try and win the event.”

GettyTiger Woods hits out of the rough on the second hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club South CourseFeeling rough: Woods during his curtailed Sunday round at the Bridgestone Invitational
The 38-year-old turned up at the US PGA because he is desperate to play in the Ryder Cup, according to Steve Stricker.

After 50 minutes on the practice range, he teed off in a four-ball including US vice-captain Stricker on the course where he won his first US PGA title in 2000.

Stricker said: “I know how deeply he wants to be part of this team and I think that is why he is here.

“He wants to get his game going but he wants to show he can play, that he’s going to get healthy.”

Skipper Tom Watson said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen with Tiger.”

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