Woods, his back face tough sked

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TIGER WOODS doesn’t know how the strange, compressed schedule will affect him for the rest of the year.

Then again, no one else does, either.

“No one has ever experienced this, having a shutdown during the year,” Woods said as he looked ahead to the FedEx Cup playoffs that will be followed two weeks later by the US Open. “It is very different. This is unlike any other year that we’ve ever experienced in golf.”

Woods shot a three-under 67 on Sunday in the final round of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Championship to finish the tournament at minus-1—10 strokes behind leader Dustin Johnson as he waited to tee off.

Woods will take next week off before the three-week stretch of the playoffs that begin outside of Boston on August 20—the US Open, which was postponed from June, will be two weeks after the tour championship.

Although the schedule is new for everyone, it will be a special challenge for Woods, who at 44 has a balky back and hasn’t played on back-to-back weekends since the President’s Cup in December.

“We’ve been training for that. Trying to get my strength and endurance up to that ability to making sure that I can handle that type of workload,” Woods said. “We’ll be pushing it hard to make sure that I can stay strong and have the endurance to keep on going.”

Woods struggled at TPC Harding Park for the first three rounds before putting together a solid round on Sunday, when he was already out of contention. He had five birdies and two bogeys, including a 5 on the par-four 18th hole that left him signing for a 67.

If only it had happened sooner.

“If I would have made a few more putts on Friday early on, and the same thing with Saturday, I felt like I would have been right there with a chance come today,” he said. “It didn’t happen, but I fought hard, and today was more indicative of how I could have played on Friday and Saturday if I would have made a few putts early.” AP

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