By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
AKRON, Ohio -- David Toms figures he was tying his shoe. Or maybe just bending over to reach something in his closet.
Whatever happened, the Monday after he tied for fourth at the U.S. Open -- and for the better part of the next two days -- Toms was flat on his back in bed. He had a cortisone injection but continued to favor his ailing back and didn't return to action until this week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Looks like the month’s layoff has done Toms some good. In what he called "one of the ball-striking rounds" he's had in a while, Toms fired a 67 that moved him to 5 under for the tournament and six strokes behind the leader, Jim Furyk.
"It was one of those days where I wish I would have putted a little bit better," the LSU product said. "... (I) kept the ball in the fairway for the most part and hit a lot of solid iron shots and didn't have the putter rolling today."
Toms hit 10 of 14 fairways and all but one green in regulation, which had him leading the field when he finished. But he had 32 putts, as opposed to 27 in his first-round 68.
Toms said his back usually goes out on him several times a year. He had an MRI after the latest episode and has gotten several differing opinions -- from chronic bursitis to a torn labrum "which I don't think I have because I don't have that much pain and I can still move pretty good," Toms said. He plans to address the situation during the offseason.
"It is what it is," Toms said. "... Unfortunately it kept me out for a little while, but I needed a break probably in a way from the game. I wasn't quite enjoying it the way I should have and probably put too much pressure on myself to perform at that time before when I was off. It feels good to be back again and competing, and I feel pretty healthy, and I'm happy with where my golf swing is."
Toms said the problem is on his right side so his swing isn't really affected. As long as he paces himself when he practices and plays, Toms can usually deal with anything that might arise. "At 45, you really don't want to get cut on if you don't have to," he said. "... Right now I'm just going to go with it."
Toms has a big stretch of golf coming up, too.
He currently ranks 76th in the FedExCup so Toms has the opportunity to go deep into the Playoffs. He's also playing in the PGA Championship and Wyndham Championship, the final event of the Regular Season, so if Toms makes it to the third Playoffs event, he would play six straight tournaments.
Toms said he can't remember the last time he played that many weeks in a row. But unlike others who might skip Greensboro because their spots in the Playoffs are sewn up, Toms has opted to play the Wyndham Championship, where he was runner-up two years ago.
"I like the tournament," Toms said. "I've played well there. I've got a lot of friends in that area, a couple of guys that run the golf tournament that are very good, close friends of mine, and I want to go there to support that event. That's really how it adds up to six in a row.”