Woods says neck is below par with US Open looming

Updated: 2010-06-03 09:50
Large Medium Small

DUBLIN, Ohio - Tiger Woods is recovering nicely from a neck injury that forced him to pull out of a tournament last month but will probably not be 100 percent for the upcoming US Open, the world number one said Wednesday.

Woods says neck is below par with US Open looming
Tiger Woods of the U.S. speaks to the media at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, June 2, 2010.  [Photo/Agencies]

"My neck feels pretty good, still not where I want it to be, but the inflammation has calmed down a bit," he said on the eve of the Memorial tournament at Muirfield Village.

It will be his only competitive tune-up for the US Open at Pebble Beach in two weeks.

Woods's decision to quit during the final round of the Players Championship was surprising because only a couple of days earlier he had said his physical health was fine.

Asked why he had not been more forthcoming earlier, he quipped: "You don't need to know."

Woods said his neck first starting bothering him before the U.S. Masters in April.

"The symptoms were such that it could have been anything," he told reporters. "I had a hard time turning back (and) turning through and the headaches were just unreal at times.

"The MRI just showed a lot of inflammation in the joint (which) has since calmed down.

"It's a little sore after a hard day of practice but I can recover for the next day, which is good. I've got range of motion. I'm good enough to play, definitely."

If Woods was revealing, belatedly, about his neck injury, he was tight-lipped about his coaching situation.

Three weeks have passed since instructor Hank Haney severed ties with the 14-times major winner after a relationship of more than seven years.

Woods said he had "no plans" to replace Haney anytime soon and was currently assessing his swing by monitoring video.

With his neck still not fully healed and his personal life far from settled, it is doubtful Woods will be at his best at Pebble Beach, where he won the US Open by a record 15 strokes in 2000.

He noted that he has played only nine competitive rounds this year, hopefully 13 by the end of this week.

"It's going to take a little time and hopefully that time will be short," he said. "It's great to hit it at home but I need to bring it out here.

"Ultimately, once you bring it out there you've got to bring it to a major championship. Once you do that, you've got to bring it to the major championship on the back nine."