Tiger Woods at Hoylake: 'I can do whatever I want'

Can Tiger Woods win the 2014 British Open? (Getty Images)
Can Tiger Woods win the 2014 British Open? (Getty Images)

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Tiger Woods played a practice round with Patrick Reed (!) at Hoylake on Saturday before getting the British Open kicked off next Thursday.

He talked with ESPN after his round about where he's at physically with the back surgery he had this spring.

"I'm not favoring anything," Woods said. "The little baby steps worked. We were very diligent about what I was doing. Going into it we pushed it pretty hard to get my abs and glutes strong so when I did come back I was able to rebound fast. I can do whatever I want. I'm at that point now. We didn't think we'd get to that point until this tournament or the week after.

"Before I had the procedure, I was at the point I couldn't do anything," he said. "This is how I used to feel. I had been playing with [the back injury] for a while and I had my good weeks and bad weeks. Now they are all good."

That's certainly good news if you're a Tiger fan because he's been up and down injury-wise for quite a while now. I think you can go back to the Barclays last year for when the questionable health started, or at least when we first started noticing it. Maybe it goes back farther than that.

Tiger also reiterated how important it was to get 36 holes of competitive golf under his belt at the Quicken Loans National, even if he missed the cut.

"Congressional was big for me," Woods said. "The fact I could go out there and play and I got better as the days went on. It was a little bit eerie and iffy if that was going to happen or not, especially with how hard I was hitting the ball.

"But I've got my speed back, which is nice, and I'm starting to hit the ball out there again. I'm only going to get stronger. As the weeks go on, I'm getting strong and faster."

Bob Harig of ESPN also noted that Tiger stopped off in Switzerland for some time with Rolex officials (one of his sponsors) before heading to Royal Liverpool.

Something Tiger also said on his Twitter account:

Woods told ESPN he made the somewhat surprising early visit to Hoylake just to get a few extra reps in before the big week starts on Monday.

"I just wanted to get out here and get a feel for the golf course," Woods said. "I just wanted to get out here and get my feet wet, and literally I did."

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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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