Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Time Beating Down on Tiger Woods?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Is Time Beating Down on Tiger Woods?

Article excerpt

DORAL, Fla.

Tiger Woods' first shot Sunday hit a middle-aged German tourist on the head, drawing blood. The tourist, who didn't want to give his name, said he flew thousands of miles to see Tiger play in the World Golf Championships.

"And I get this souvenir," he said, almost smiling.

"Sorry about that," Tiger signed on a golf glove and handed to the tourist.

On the third hole, Tiger's tee shot another middle-aged fan in the shoulder, leaving a welt. Tiger again went up to the injured party just off the fairway.

"Sorry about that," Tiger signed on a glove and handed to him.

The question, by then, wasn't could he catch eventual winner Patrick Reed. It was if he had enough golf gloves his bag. And if there's a glut of his signed gloves on eBay?

He already was 2-over when he tweaked a tender back while hitting out of a bunker on the sixth hole. The issue after that was if he would pull out for the second straight week. The rest of his round was an attempt to keep the, "spasms at bay," he said.

"It's over," he said after a 6-over par 78 on Sunday beat only two of the field's 68 players. "It's finally done. Which is good."

Tiger's back?

That's what everyone in golf was asking again as he began the day in fourth place. Instead, for the second straight Sunday on this South Florida swing, he walked away with his health being the primary story.

You don't have to understand the intricacies of golf to understand what's at work here. Tiger has a bad back. It happens to players young and old. It just happens more often to older players.

And Tiger isn't just 38. He's had a litany of injuries that takes Grey's Anatomy cover to cover. Everyone talks of the emotional scars of his recent years. But the physical burden on his body is the bigger issue now.

"Deeper the flexion, the worse I felt," he said of the back spasms. …

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