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August 25 2013

6:00 PM

Tiger has spasms, finishes second

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Tiger Woods' week began with a stiff back due to a soft hotel mattress, and it ended with another hard-luck loss at Liberty National.

Playing through a back spasm that began on the 12th hole of Sunday's final round of The Barclays, Woods' birdie attempt on the 18 to force a playoff with Adam Scott came up inches short.

He finished in a tie for second one stroke back.

It was the first time Woods shot four rounds in the 60s in a PGA TOUR event this season and the second straight year he had back issues because of a mattress at this event.

"I felt great until that tee shot at 12," said Woods, who had been receiving treatment for his back throughout the week. "I was perfectly fine. I was playing pretty good, and I was hanging right there. 

"I was in the perfect spot, and unfortunately just couldn't finish off the rest of the day."

The outcome was similar to the last time The Barclays was played here, in 2009, when Woods missed a 7-footer for birdie on the final hole that might have forced a playoff.

Only that day it was Heath Slocum who made a 21-footer behind Woods to stun everyone and win by one.

This time, it looked like Woods might not even have the opportunity.

After three birdies on the front nine to get within a stroke of the lead, Woods bogeyed the par-4 10th and par-5 13th after missing the green left on both occasions.

When Woods missed his 11-footer to save par on the par-4 15th, it looked like he was finished. He bounced back, however, with two straight birdies to again get within one of the lead.

His 8-iron approach from 190 yards on the 18th flew all the way to the flag, however, and the ball rolled through the green, leaving him a difficult double-breaking 27-footer for birdie from the fringe that stopped just short.

"I had a chance," Woods said. "I don't know how I hit that 8‑iron that far. But I hit a good putt. Thought I made it."

Woods left Liberty National still atop the FedExCup standings, but his future for the Playoffs is somewhat uncertain.

"That's all hypothetical right now," Woods said when asked if he would be able to play in next week's Deutsche Bank Championship. "I'm not feeling my best right now."

He'll at least get an extra day of rest.

The Deutsche Bank -- which Woods won in 2006 the year before the FedExCup Playoffs were created and which his foundation is connected to -- doesn't start until Friday.

If Woods does play, he'll be paired for the first two rounds with Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, who are second and third, respectively, in the FedExCup standings.

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