2019 BMW Championship: Tiger Woods feeling 'way better' after withdrawing from Northern Trust

Following last week's withdrawal from the Northern Trust, there were questions about whether Tiger Woods would (or even should) play this week at the BMW Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Woods withdrew at Liberty National Golf Club with an oblique issue that he said is "way better" than it was a week ago when he pulled out in New Jersey.

"It was nice to take those days off, and I had to just let it calm down and get a bunch of treatment on it, and it feels so much better," said Woods, who played nine holes of a pro-am on Wednesday at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago.

"As I've said before, the forces have got to go somewhere, and unfortunately, when I make any kind of tweaks and changes to my swing, it's like a new body part is aching. Unfortunately, I can't play around the back like I used to, and unfortunately things flare up."

The competitor in Woods obviously wants to play, but the innocent bystander has to wonder why he would tee it up for a non-major when his body has been an issue since the Masters. Tiger sounds extremely day to day with his pain management, but he also sounds like he wants to continue whatever momentum he found last week at the Northern Trust.

"I tried to make tweaks all year, trying to ease the stress off my back while I was still playing," said Woods. "Unfortunately, I haven't really done a very good job of that, and when I have, I've hit the ball quite well. I was really excited about what I was doing at Liberty. I made some nice changes, and obviously didn't feel very well on Thursday."

Tiger currently ranks No. 38 in the FedEx Cup standings, and likely needs a top-11 finish (or better) to advance to the Tour Championship next week, which he won last season.  He has one top-11 finish since winning the Masters (a T9 at the Memorial Tournament). 

"If it's not one thing, it's another," Woods said of his body. "Things just pop up. That's been one of the biggest challenges coming back from last year. You saw I'm making tweaks and changes trying to play around this back and trying to be explosive and have enough rest time and training time. That's been the biggest challenge of it all. 

"This week is no different. I'm trying to win this tournament just like anybody else in this field and trying to get to East Lake and trying to get to a place where a lot of things changed for me last year, and hopefully I can make that happen."

The good news is that it doesn't sound like anything with Tiger is long-term serious. The bad news is that it sounds like there are myriad short-term not-as-serious issues. I understand why he wants to play this week -- defending the Tour Championship isn't nothing -- and the body is probably always going to be under duress. It's not necessarily what I would pick for him, but I at least understand it.

What's more perplexing is how he's going to play. Since Augusta, he has as many rounds of 75 or worse (2) as he does of 69 or better. With a good finish needed at a place where he's thrived, anything is possible, I suppose. But it's hard for me to bet on the guy with the questionable body who has played less golf than anyone in this field finishing in the top 11 and moving on to see another week.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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