ORLANDO, Fla. – Just two days after finishing runner-up at the Valspar Championship, Tiger Woods opted for a light workday on Tuesday at Bay Hill.
Woods putted and worked on his short game for about an hour and a half, but didn’t play a practice round or hit golf balls on the practice range, limiting his preparation to Wednesday’s pro-am round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he’s won eight times.
Although that seems a little abbreviated for a player who hasn’t competed at Bay Hill since 2013, it seems it might become the norm for Woods, who had fusion surgery on his lower back in April.
“I’m probably more restricted than I used to be,” he said of his practice routines. “I try and get my work in and get out of it. Staying there and lingering on the range for three-, four-hour sessions, that’s just not happening anymore.”
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Woods doesn’t appear to be on any kind of “ball count,” going to the range numerous times this season after tournament rounds, but he’s certainly adopted a new attitude toward practice.
“I think that’s also not only the function of my injuries and the surgeries I’ve had but also a function of just getting older as an athlete,” Woods said. “The more important thing is my recovery for the next day. Get my work in, how I need to recover for the next day to be able to do it again and do it consecutive days, consecutive week, consecutive months. I’ve been able to find that balance.”