Tiger getting back in swing

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woods Jun 18 AFP Tiger Woods doesn't know when he will be fit to return to competition, but his agent said on Tuesday Woods was making progress in his recovery from back surgery. Photo: Chris Trotman

Miami – Tiger Woods is making progress in his recovery from back surgery and starting to extend his swing, his agent said on Tuesday.

Woods already has missed two majors this year while he recovers from a microdiscectomy on his back on March 31. He last played on March 9 at Doral, where he closed with a 78 despite the pain in his lower back.

Woods has said he has no idea when he will be healthy enough to return to competition.

A report on Golf Channel said he was taking full swings at the Medalist Golf Club in South Florida.

“Tiger is progressing like he expected,” Mark Steinberg of Excel Sports Management said in an email.

“Feeling good each day. As each day passes and he feels that way, he lengthens the swing a bit.”

Woods is the tournament host next week for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional. It is not expected that he will play. The deadline to enter is Friday.

The next major is the British Open on July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool, where Woods won in 2006.

The last time Woods missed two majors in one year because of injuries was in 2011, when he sat out the US Open and British Open to let his leg fully recover.

That year, he returned at Bridgestone Invitational in early August, a World Golf Championship that has no cut.

In a promotional day for Quicken Loans in May, Woods said he was chipping and putting in a way that did not require rotation in his back. That was four weeks ago.

He also did not know how much time it would take for him to be ready for a tournament once he could take full swings with no pain.

“The more time you give me, the better I'll be,” he said.

“The great thing about what I've done so far and all my other previous surgeries is that I worked on my short game. Once I start expanding from there and start competing and playing, if I start spraying it all over the lot and not hitting it that great, at least my short game is solid. That's one of the positives to it.”

Woods has slipped from No 1 to No. 4 in the world ranking, and he is likely to fall a couple of more spots in coming weeks. He is at No 207 in the FedEx Cup standings – having finished 72 holes only once this year – and the top 125 get into the playoffs that start on August 21. – Sapa-AP



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