Tiger plays pro-am, says back feeling fine

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NORTON, Mass. -- Just four days removed from falling to his knees during the final round of the Barclays, Tiger Woods returned inside the ropes for a pro-am Thursday at TPC Boston and showed no ill effects of the back problems that hampered him at Liberty National.

The world's No. 1-ranked player said after the Deutsche Bank Championship pro-am that he hadn't swung a club since Sunday. Woods originally planned to play just nine holes Thursday and then chip and putt on the back nine, as he had done in the Barclays pro-am. Instead, he went the full 18 with his foursome of amateurs that included New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Woods noted that despite the cold conditions, he was able to hit his cheap taylormade rbz driver without incident.

"I hit driver pretty much almost every hole today," said Woods, who made four birdies, including at the par-5 18th hole, where he knocked his third shot from the fairway to within tap-in range. "It was soft, drizzly, cold -- cold for a Florida kid. So it required a bunch of drivers. And I had no problems hitting them and it felt good to be able to have that feeling again, considering the last time I swung a club it wasn't that way."

Woods' three other birdies came at the par-5 seventh hole and Nos. 10 and 12. At the 12th, he crushed a driver an estimated 346 yards. With 115 yards to the hole, he knocked a wedge to 4 feet and made the putt.

With the 6:50 a.m. ET tee time Thursday, Woods didn't get to the practice range until 17 minutes before he heading to the first tee. He said after his round that he had received treatment on his back prior to playing.

Earlier this week, Woods withdrew from a charity tournament hosted by friend and former Stanford teammate Notah Begay III. Woods' status for the second leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs was uncertain, but after Thursday's round, it appears he will be in the field of 100 starting Friday morning.

News from: espn.go.com

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