New York: Tiger Woods said the back problems that nagged him at the recent Presidents Cup have dissipated as he prepares for the final two events of his season.
“My back feels great,” he told reporters on a conference call Tuesday to promote the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, a tournament Dec. 5-8 at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks that benefits Woods’ charities.
Woods, 37, fought lingering back pain while helping the US team secure the Presidents Cup victory in Dublin, Ohio, nine days ago. Since then, he underwent treatment. “I took a week off, I’ve trained this week, I’ve underwent treatment and that eased the problem,” Woods said.
The world’s top-ranked player plans two more tournaments this year: one in Turkey on Nov. 7-11 and then his charity event, which pays $1 million to the winner.
The 18-player field in this year’s World Challenge also includes Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Bubba Watson and defending World Challenge winner Graeme McDowell. Woods won five PGA Tour events this year but again was unable to win one of golf’s four major tournaments.
That continued to leave him four Majors shy of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods’ last major victory was five years ago at the 2008 US Open.
Asked about still being short of Nicklaus’ record, Woods replied, “My career’s not done yet, I’m still playing and I think I’m still playing at a high level. But the wins fall where they fall.”
Nicklaus himself said in September that he remained confident Woods would one day surpass his mark.
“If you look at it realistically, Tiger’s probably got another 10 years of top golf,” Nicklaus said. “That’s 40 majors. Can he win five of them? I think he probably will.”
Nicklaus had said one major difference between his run and Woods’ chase is the national attention.
Nicklaus didn’t even consider the historic context of his run until 1970 when a golf writer mentioned he had just won No. 10 — and the fourth of his six green jackets — at the 1972 Masters and trailed then-leader Bobby Jones by three.