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Tiger Woods will return to action at this week's PLAYERS Championship after missing the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck injury.
Tiger Woods Confirms He's Playing At The Players Championship
Woods was forced to withdraw from last week's tournament at Bay Hill, a place where he has won eight times, because of a neck strain that he said he had been feeling "for a few weeks".
However, he has insisted that there is nothing to worry about and he is ready to tee it up this week at TPC Sawgrass.
"Everything is good, I feel good, I just needed last week off," Woods said to GolfWeek's Steve Dimeglio on Monday.
"I didn't want to push it. No need to, not at my age. I can't do that anymore."
There were concerns that he may miss more than last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational after the neck issue began at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Despite finishing in a tie for 10th place, he was receiving treatment twice a day and even wore medical tape during the tournament to try and reduce some of the pain he was experiencing.
"It wasn't fun. I couldn't make a backswing, I couldn't make a follow through, and I couldn't make a complete swing," Woods said.
Woods had made a good start to 2019 before pulling out at Bay Hill, finishing T20th at the Farmers Insurance Open and T15th at the Genesis Open before his top 10 in Mexico.
But, he has recognised his putting has let him down in those tournaments.
At the WGC-Mexico Championship he three-putted six times, and he joked on Monday saying, "I putted so well," about his time in Mexico.
Following that, he has sought out some advice from putting specialist Matt Killen, who also works with world number four Justin Thomas.
The 14-time major champion has been without a coach or instructor since he split with Chris Como in December 2017, but Woods has teamed up with Killen after a miserable few rounds on the greens so far this year.
The pair spent over two hours together on Monday as they tried to improve the 43-year-old's putting.
Although Woods has played in just three PGA Tour tournaments so far this year, his average putts per round is 29.67.
This leaves him unofficially ranked 191st out of 217 players in that department, and not one of those has played fewer rounds than Woods.
To compare this with last season, Woods finished 2018 ranked 22nd in average putts per round, representing a big decline in that category this year.
Furthermore, this has been his worst performance in Strokes Gained: Putting (0.168) since 2014.
He's unofficially ranked 80th, which is worse than last season where he ranked 48th.
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Honma TR20
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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