PGA Tour drives idea of setting its own rules into rough

Rory Mc Ilroy played well in the first round of The PLAYERS 2019

"I (then drove) to Palm Beach from Orlando and saw a spinal surgeon", Day said. Tiger, who also was second in 2000 and eighth in 2009, has three top 20s in as many starts this year after winning the Tour Championship in October. Six of the last nine Players Championship events have been decided by two strokes or fewer, and with major champions like Woods, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day in the field at TPC Sawgrass, we could see another tight finish.

A relaxed-looking Woods said he was no longer suffering pain from the neck strain which he said was linked to the back fusion surgery that allowed him to resume his career.

It flared up again at the Genesis Open last month, and then got worse in Mexico City the following week.

"It was getting to the point where it was affecting my setup, my backswing, my through swing, " said Woods. "It just made it worse".

"The stress has to go somewhere if I don't have movement, so it's very important for me to keep pliable".

That Woods has turned to a coach shouldn't come as a surprise given his performance on the greens in his last two starts.

Among the favourites are American Dustin Johnson, ranked number one in the world, coming off a win at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and the 6th-ranked Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland.

Koepka will play alongside 2015 Players champion Rickie Fowler and three-time major victor Jordan Spieth over the opening two rounds at TPC Sawgrass and the 28-year-old admits his motivation has been hurt after some of his success. Assuming this week goes well and he goes to Texas for the Match Play, that would give him five tournaments before the Masters.

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Woods added that previous year was to see if he could even play and compete again on the PGA Tour.

"I've played three tournaments this year so far, and that's about right, " Woods said.

I likely will not go insane in tournament play this week, and will instead hone in on constructing the safest cash game team possible this week.

"I feel good. Last week was the most confident I've felt on the golf course".

"I think sometimes I do expect a little bit more of myself".

As for his health, Woods does not consider that a major concern. He also has dealt with an Achilles' heel problem and what he described as a left arm issue at the 2013 U.S. Open. Woods, 43, says it's his lower back, not his neck that is the long-term concern going forward. Although it's just 137 yards to the Island Green, the hole is surrounded on nearly all sides by water and has a tiny bunker in front of it, leading to many highlight-reel moments as frustrated golfers try to get their drives to stay on the green.

"I'm an aggressive player".

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland - Even though he hasn't won since the Arnold Palmer Invitational previous year, Rory is on a run of five straight finishes in the top six and just can't finish things off on Sunday right now.

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