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Woods: 'Still too soon' to know if fit for Masters



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tiger Woods is not sure whether his ailing back will allow him to play in the Masters, which is two weeks away.

"For Augusta, it's actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you," Woods said Monday at a news conference to announce that Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his golf tournament. "That's kind of the frustrating thing about this."

Too Soon For Tiger To Tell About Masters

The Masters is the only major tournament the 38-year-old Woods has never missed. Four of his 14 major championships came at Augusta National, including his first in 1997. He last won the green jacket in 2005.

This year's Masters is April 10-13.

Woods is off to the worst start of his 18 years on tour, and he's been troubled lately by back problems.

He stopped playing in the final round at the Honda Classic on March 2 because of what he called back spasms and pain in his lower back. He tried to defend his title the following week at Doral, only for his back to flare up again in the final round, when he shot a 78, the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career and his first closing round without a birdie.

Then last week, Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of persistent back pain.

"I've had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and just working on trying to get ready for Augusta," Woods said Monday. "As of right now, it's still too soon, which is, as I said, pretty frustrating."

This has been the longest sustained problem Woods has had with his lower back.

He first showed signs of back pain at Bethpage Black at The Barclays in 2012, which he attributed to a soft bed at his hotel. He felt twinges during the final round of the PGA Championship last year, and when his back bothered him in the final round of The Barclays two weeks later, he said it was unrelated.

At Monday's news conference, Woods discussed a deal through 2017 for his tournament to be called the Quicken Loans National. It will be played June 26-29 at Congressional this year. AT&T was in the final year of its contract as sponsor.

The AT&T National began in 2007 with a military theme built around the Fourth of July in the nation's capital. It has been held at Congressional for all but two years, in 2010 and 2011, as the course prepared to host the U.S. Open. In those years, it was played at Aronimink outside Philadelphia.

Congressional is under contract through 2014, and Woods said there will be a vote next week to determine whether the club would host every other year in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

---

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson contributed to this report.

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fuzzyc005 March 24 2014 at 3:04 PM

another year or two and it will be over for him,sadly,but back problems are never solved.

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Rogell March 24 2014 at 11:03 PM

Having experienced back pain associated with the lower lumbar region, I can certainly sympathize with what Tiger's currently going through. Fortunately, he's taking therapy which is a tremendous help. A very dear friend suggested taking two Advil liquid gels (solubilized ibuprofen capsules, 200mg) about one half hour before playing golf usually helps to reduce the pain, notwithstanding stretching before swinging the clubs. I'm pulling for you Tiger!

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athiker52 March 24 2014 at 7:46 PM

….too many blondes; not enough white balls.

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jamesw34677 March 24 2014 at 5:46 PM

Well a couple of pain pills will do the job but the problem is the young guys are just toogood these days

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ram2002man March 24 2014 at 4:29 PM

HE PROBABALY HAS BACK PROBLEMS FROM ALL THE EASY WOMAN THAT HE CHEATED ON HIS GIRLFRIEND WITH.

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Brutal March 24 2014 at 5:40 PM

All that sex with all those women ... rough on the lower back. Bad news is ... once the lower back is damaged ... it is damaged forever. The pain can be managed and normal activity can go on without too many problems; but for an athlete ... it is the ole swan song. He's done and it is simply a shame considering what he could have achieved if he had stayed healthy. It is a lesson that all young aspiring athletes need to take to heart. You must make taking care of your body your number one priority.

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1 reply
jdsept Brutal March 24 2014 at 5:56 PM

If he had that much sex with just the wife would his back not be hurting? You know the sexual positions he took or takes? Are YOU saying a man staying true to his wife can't have as much sex as a person not staying true?

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xgalioto March 24 2014 at 5:18 PM

Have to say, but this might be his Karma! It's funny how that works.....

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john March 24 2014 at 8:54 PM

I guess these same comentors hate Obama too!

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1 reply
BillR john March 24 2014 at 11:45 PM

Most likely, and they vote Republican and love to teabag people.

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isaulgladys March 24 2014 at 4:03 PM

Tiger he is finish, and he knows that too but the sponsers don't want him to quit .. is about the money.......the same goes for Phill Mickerson ...they better wait and play in the seniors tours ..maybe they have chance to win with them.....

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marvinmr2000 March 24 2014 at 5:42 PM

TIGER IS LUCKY HE DOES NOT HAVE AIDS! LEAVE THE PROSTITUTES ALONE, BE TRUE TO YOUR WIFE & CHILD! HE HAS WHAT HE ASK FOR!!

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