Woods Enters Saturday 5 strokes ahead of Rory McIlroy
"I'm probably going to sleep on the floor. I do that in Europe all the time, so this is nothing new."
This was not a joke from Tiger Woods, as one reporter had thought. These were the realities the aging superstar had to face after suffering through hours of pain in his lower back. He described it as pain in "a section of movement" that would come right before impact in his swing. Through all this, you'd think the 36 year-old might consider withdrawing - something he says never crossed his mind. Instead, the two-time FedEx Cup winner posted a 2-under 69 to put him three shots back of leader Nick Watney.
After his press conference, he proceeded to get treatment on his back for an hour and ten minutes. One could only imagine what was being done to his back.
Speaking of Watney, it looked like he was on his way to an 11-under or even 12-under score going into 16, but he missed a par save which dropped him to 9-under, and then made bogey on the Par 4 18th. The positives in his round? An eagle at 4 to get his momentum going, and a birdie run that started on 13 and ended on 15 with a pinpoint approach. It wasn't uncommon for him to make so many bogeys to go along with his birdies - he had 4. He said the greens were "12 to 13 maybe" on the stimpmeter, which gave a lot of players problems.
Two more fan favorites, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson, finished the day at Even Par for the tournament. While Phil was undertandably trying to forget his round as quickly as possible, Rory actually told me he thought he hit the ball pretty well, and didn't seem to upset with his performance. He almost missed the 1-Over cut, but as he pointed out, the difference between the cut and the leader has grown over the years "It's just never 10 strokes anymore, it just never is.
Rory starts at 8:45, Phil's right in front of him at 8:55, and the leaders (Watney and Sergio Garcia) get started at 1:45. Tiger Woods is paired with Gary Christian, and they're scheduled for a 1:05 tee time.
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