Recovery main focus for Woods
PGA Championship part of stretch when he likely plays five events in six-week span
August 07, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- August 07, 2018
Tiger Woods on challenges before PGA Championship
ST. LOUIS – Tiger Woods knows Father Time is undefeated and as such his focus leading into the PGA Championship has been on recovery.
The 42-year-old 79-time PGA TOUR winner has a hectic schedule going forward, this being the second tournament of likely five he will play in a six-week span.
Mindful of the stress on his surgically fused back and just his all-around energy levels, Woods has taken a less-is-more approach.
So despite having not seen Bellerive Country Club short of half a practice round in 2001, Woods took Monday off to recover from his performance at the World Golf Championships–Bridgestone Invitational.
And with thunderstorms pulling players off the course in St. Louis on Tuesday, he was once again limited in practice, playing just five holes.
“I needed that day off. Yesterday I spent a few times in the ice bath just trying to get some inflammation down and just trying to get ready for the rest of the week,” the 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 PGA Championship winner admitted.
“And a lot of stretching. Did a leg lift yesterday as well and was ready to go for today.”
Woods wouldn’t go into details about where the inflammation was other than to say “everywhere” and said he went into the ice three times.
Athletes regularly use ice baths with the belief it speeds up recovery and reduces muscle soreness.
With temperatures soaring in Akron last week and the same high heat expected again here in St. Louis, freshness is key for the veteran.
“There's going to be certain days that I'm just not going to have the speed and the flexibility and the movement that I once did,” Woods continued.
“I'm 42 now, and I've had four back surgeries. So things are going to be different from day-to-day, and it's just about managing it.
“I didn't really have any of those issues early in my career because I didn't have a fixed point in my back. My knee used to hurt a lot, but I could play around that. Playing around my spine's a little bit different.”
Woods says this season – which has netted four top-10s including a T6 at the recent Open Championship – has been a learning curve as far as his physical limitations go.
As he figures those out, he adjusts accordingly.
In the past he would use weather delays like those on Tuesday to lift more in the gym or go for long distance runs.
Not so now.
And while Wednesday will be hectic as players try to cram in last-minute practice time, Woods will be mindful of his energy levels.
“I’ll try and get as many holes as I possibly can but also make sure that I'm ready for an a.m. start on Thursday,” he said
Woods starts his campaign at 8:23 a.m. CDT Thursday with Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas off the 10th tee.