Tiger Woods, whose Tiger Woods Foundation will run this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship for the first time, may have to bow out of the second FedEx Cup playoff event with a stiff back.
"That's all hypothetical right now," Woods, who finished one stroke back of the winner Adam Scott Sunday at The Barclays despite struggling with lower back pain all week, told reporters about his availability for the Labor Day weekend tilt. "I'm not feeling my best right now."
With a Friday start at TPC Boston, Woods has an extra day to rest his aches and pains, though he is scheduled to play in his old friend’s Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge on Wednesday. If his cranky back, which brought Woods to his knees in Sunday’s finale at Liberty National Golf Course, is as painful as it looked, the world No. 1 who maintained his lead atop the FedEx Cup points standings may be a no-show for both events.
"The tee shot there [at No. 12] started it," said Woods, who began the week by blaming a soft hotel bed for his back injury. "Thirteen just accentuated it. I felt great until the tee shot at 12. I was perfectly fine."
It was his approach shot to the 13th green that knocked Woods to the ground and essentially out of the tournament. After his swing, which sent his ball far left and stuck in the mud, somewhere in the swamps of Jersey, Tiger sagged over his club, slumped to his knees, and fell forward onto his hands.
Though he picked himself up off the canvas and battled back to get within a birdie putt of a playoff with Scott, the bogey on the par-5 13th, combined with another on the par-4 15th, offset back-to-back birdies Woods made on Nos. 16 and 17. When a difficult 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on 18 came up a dimple short of the cup, Woods finished with a 2-under 69 that left him at 10-under for the week and in a share of second with Graham DeLaet, Justin Rose, and Gary Woodland.
"I hit a good putt," Woods said. "I Thought I made it."
Should Woods be able to play this week in the event for which his charitable foundation has assumed management and operational responsibilities, he’ll play the first two rounds with Nos. 2 and 3 in FedEx Cup points, Scott and Phil Mickelson.