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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 03/21/2012

Tiger Woods shakes off back twinge, says “I’m good to go” as Masters nears


Tiger Woods rubs his back (John Raoux / AP)
Tiger Woods put a bit of a scare into the crowd watching him compete in the Arnold Palmer Invitational pro-am today at Bay Hill.

He stopped in the middle of his swing, flexed his knee and rubbed his back. None of those things are ideal for a guy who suffered a mild Achilles strain a week ago and is trying to find his competitive groove as next month’s Masters nears.

Part of the problem was the intrusive clicking of a camera. “I guess one of the so-called professional photographers took a picture right in the middle of my downswing,” Woods said. “I stopped it, and then felt a pretty good twinge in my back. Walked it off and then tried to hit one down there, hit it in the fairway, but didn't feel very good. But after a couple of holes it loosened up and I'm good to go now.”

Woods, who was forced to withdraw from the WGC Cadillac Championship in mid-round because of his strained Achilles, has been playing relentlessly this month in preparation for the Masters, which begins April 5. In addition to the Cadillac Championship, he played in the Tavistock Cup this week and, now, the Palmer. And he found time for another round, a stealth round in Georgia.

“I played Augusta on Sunday, that's one of the reasons I played Tavistock,” Woods said Wednesday after his pro-am round. “I feel great. That's the nice thing about having treatment for a few days.”

Woods admitted that the Achilles could flare up again. “I've had tightness before, but not that to extent [as on March 11],” he said. “But treatment afterwards always gets it right back to where it should be. And that's one of the reasons why I wasn't really that concerned about it; that I would come back and play these events, because when it gets that tight, treatment for two or three days, it's all fine, all the swelling goes way and I'm good to go.”

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By  |  03:09 PM ET, 03/21/2012

 
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