US PGA Championship: Tiger Woods arrives at Valhalla despite back problem
Last Updated: 07/08/14 12:05am
Tiger Woods has arrived at Valhalla Golf Club for a practice round ahead of the US PGA Championship which starts on Thursday.
Woods’ participation in the tournament has been in doubt since Sunday when he was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational during the final round after suffering back spasms.
The American, who had surgery in late March to treat a pinched nerve in his back, has since been undergoing intensive treatment and has been granted an extension to his registration deadline.
Players usually have until 5pm local time on Tuesday to confirm their place in the field but Woods has taken advantage of provisions aimed at injured players.
The 38-year-old now has until his 8:35am start time on Thursday (1:35pm BST) to decide if he will play, and he will know more about his fitness after playing a practice round at the Kentucky venue on Wednesday afternoon.
Woods teed off in front of a packed grandstand at 2:15pm (7.15pm BST) alongside Steve Stricker, former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love and Harris English and showed no signs of discomfort.
However, Colin Montgomerie, who will be playing at Valhalla this week after winning the Senior PGA earlier this summer, predicted Woods 'will suffer' if he decides to play in the final major of the year.
"I saw the TV pictures on Sunday evening and really, how can he play again this year, never mind within three days?" Montgomerie said.
"Whether he can handle this I'm not sure. This is a big golf course, the rough is heavy again. He's hitting the ball I hate to say, not straight, he will be in the rough and he will suffer.
"Whether it's good for his long term future in the game to play here or not, I am not sure. Obviously we would love him to play, it's a bigger and better event when he does."
Watch live coverage of the first round of the US PGA Championship on Thursday live on Sky Sports 4 from 6pm.