Tiger Woods has played significant portions of his career dealing with injuries – you could argue that his ''one-legged'' playoff victory in the 2008 U.S. Open is one of his greatest moments. Even so, it was a little bit shocking to see Tiger go the ground when his back spasmed on the 13th hole of the final round of The Barclays on Sunday.
As you can see in the photo above – and as you might have seen on TV – Woods took a cut and, as Associated Press Golf Writer Doug Ferguson described it, ''hooked a fairway metal so far left that it landed in a swamp on the other side of the 15th fairway. Woods dropped to all fours in pain before slowly getting up.''
Woods also bogeyed the 15th hole, then, as Ferguson said, ''gamely fought back with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to get within one.''
Needing one final birdie to get into a playoff with Adam Scott, Woods' putt from off the 18th green came up just short.
Woods battled stiffness in his lower back all week, which he attributed to a soft bed in his hotel room, said Ferguson, who noted that this was the second straight year Woods has had back issues from a mattress at The Barclays. TV viewers often saw Woods wincing in pain and trying to stretch his back throughout the tournament, but nothing seemed serious until his incident on the 13th hole.
After his round, Woods said that his spasming actually began on his tee shot in the 12th hole, and ''13 just kind of accentuated it.''
When asked if his problem was a back spasm, he replied, ''Oh, yeah, big time. It's definitely spasming.''
Woods said he ''felt great'' Sunday until that tee shot on the 12th hole. ''I was perfectly fine,'' he said. ''I was playing pretty good, and I was hanging right there.''
The next FedExCup playoff event, the Deutsche Bank Championship outside of Boston, is a big supporter of the Tiger Woods Foundation, but Woods didn't sound sure that he'd play. When asked Sunday afternoon, he said, ''That's all hypothetical right now. I just got off and I'm not feeling my best right now.''
By tying for second at The Barclays, Woods keeps his No. 1 playoff seed. After the Deutsche Bank Championship, the PGA Tour has an open week before the BMW Championship Sept. 12-15 in Lake Forest, Ill., followed by the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta on Sept. 19-22.