WGC Cadillac Championship

Tiger Woods will defend title at Doral after recovering from back spasms

American pulled out of Honda Classic last week

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 March, 2014, 10:23am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 March, 2014, 10:23am

Tiger Woods will defend his WGC-Cadillac Championship title and world number one ranking after confirming on Wednesday he had recovered from back spasms that forced him to withdraw from last week’s Honda Classic.

Woods smiled and joked with the media as he entered the Doral resort showing no sign of the discomfort that forced him to delay his pre-tournament press conference a day earlier while he received treatment on his back.

“I feel better, I feel good,” said Woods, who will tee off on Thursday with Masters champion Adam Scott and FedExCup winner Henrik Stenson. “It’s been a long couple days of just treatment nonstop, trying to get everything calmed down.”

Woods will need to be back at his best this week as he takes on an elite field that features the top 50 ranked players, including Australian world number two Scott, who could replace the American at the top of the rankings.

If Scott wins the US$9 million tournament and Woods finishes seventh or worse, the Australian will take over as number one.

While Woods ruled himself fit he admitted he had done little work on the golf course since withdrawing from the final round of the Honda Classic on Sunday after 13 holes.

The 14-times major winner, however, said there will be no hesitation in his swing this week.

“I hit some balls yesterday,” said Woods. “Furthest ball I hit I think was 60 yards, just trying to make sure I keep my feel.

“So I chipped and putted for a while, just making sure I had my feels in my hands and I didn’t lose that over the last couple days.

“My treatments have been fantastic. It’s annoying being poked and prodded all the time, but it’s got me to a point where I can do this today, and tomorrow I’ll be able to hit more full shots and go all out.”