Woods grimmaces as he tees off on the eighth hole Friday at Merion. (Cannon/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
ARDMORE, Pa. --Tiger Woods has already won a U.S. Open on a broken leg, so what's a sore elbow?
The world's top-ranked golfer said Friday that he injured his left elbow en route to winning THE PLAYERS Championship last month, though he did not specify when or how, saying only that it happened during one of the rounds.
"It is what it is," he quipped after carding an even-par 70 Friday at Merion Golf Club, where he enters the weekend 3 over and in contention for his first major championship since his epic victory in the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines five years ago.
The injury seemed to flare up after Woods hit out of the rough on the opening hole Thursday. He went on to shoot 73, finishing the round early Friday morning after play was suspended due to darkness following two lengthy weather delays.
According to Golf Channel's Notah Begay, a longtime friend of the 14-time major champion, Woods has inflammation in the elbow and treated it with ice and electrical stimulation Thursday night. He also said the pain occurs mostly when Woods is hitting out of the rough.
On a day when scores soared, Woods did well to finish at even par.
He made an early birdie on the par-3 13th after starting on No. 11 before giving it back with a bogey on No. 14 and another on 18.
Woods birdied two of his next four holes, however, and made just one bogey the rest of the day.
"They've really tried to, I think, protect the golf course, with it being as soft as it is," Woods said on a day when few red numbers were on the board. "And they've given us some really, really tough pins."
Not that it changed Woods' outlook any.
Asked if he likes his chances this weekend, Woods said, simply, "Yes."
After all, it turned out pretty good for him at Torrey Pines.