Tiger Woods got off to a sluggish start in Monday’s rain-delayed final round of the BMW Championship, perhaps because his back was acting up again.
Woods, four stokes back of 54-hole leader Jim Furyk to enter the finale, bogeyed his first and fifth holes before getting back to even-par for the day with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay indicated that his former Stanford teammate winced a couple of times on his front nine.
Woods’ tee and approach shots on the eighth hole "were a little uncomfortable for him and then he did grimace a little in discomfort as he walked off the eighth green," said Begay, on the course with Tiger and playing partner Charl Schwartzel, after Woods parred the par-4 ninth. "I’m pretty sure it has tightened up. This cold weather, having had a bad back myself, can kinda do that to you."
Then, after hitting his tee shot on No. 10, Woods folded his arm behind him in apparent pain. Woods' health became an issue when his back went into spasm during the first of four FedExCup playoff games, The Barclays.
Tiger posted an ugly T65 two weeks ago at the Deutsche Bank Championship after having to withdraw from Begay’s annual charity golf tourney, but roared back into contention at Conway Farms in Chicago, despite his disputed two-shot penalty during Friday’s second round.
"You can tell from that swing right there that it’s tender back there," Dan Hicks of NBC/Golf Channel observed after Woods' tee shot on the ninth. "He just kind of moved real slow after that swing."
The soreness Woods appeared to be feeling probably intensified after he missed a short par putt on the par-3 11th.