"You can only swing or make the movement as good as your body's feeling", Woods said.
Having had four back surgeries, Woods celebrated a return to the winner's circle last season with a stunning victory at the Tour Championship and now has his eye on capturing what would be his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open. "There are times over the years where I pushed it, and I've won tournaments doing it that way".
Woods chose not to push it last week by skipping Bay Hill, where he has won eight times.
The common thought about TPC Sawgrass is that it's not a course you want to try to play from behind at, because forcing the issue usually leads to big numbers. He says it started to bother him a little at Riviera, and then more the following week in Mexico City.
"It started a little bit at L.A. but wasn't a worry", Woods said. On Friday he used just 30 putts to get around TPC Sawgrass, the same as a day earlier.
"I was determined to get it all back and get it back to five, and I thought that would have been a hell of a fight", said a frustrated Woods afterwards.
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Woods is the only player to win in March and May.
Woods was not on the commitment list for next week's Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida, where he tied for second past year.
"I was pretty ticked, no doubt about that", Woods admitted after his round.
Woods meanwhile said he was satisfied that the neck problem had not disrupted his preparations for next month's Masters, where he will once again attempt to end an 11-year wait for a 15th major. Assuming this week goes well and he goes to Texas for the Match Play, that would give him five tournaments before the Masters. "And we played with Davis Love that one year when he shot 64 in the last round and came from behind, so it can be done".
"I've played three this year so far, and that's about right", he said. Four weeks off was always going to be not created to play well necessarily at Bay Hill. So if it does firm up a little bit, even if you're hitting 7-iron into the first, I think it's going to require some really good driving and some really good irons.
The fact that Woods looked so comfortable for the majority of the day indicates he's capable of a similar run. I'm 43 with four back surgeries so let's manage what I have and understand that I'm going to have good weeks and bad weeks and try to manage as best I possibly can and not push it. I was just plodding along and just kind of getting around.
"I just need to go out there and put it together this weekend, because right now literally anybody who makes the cut has got a chance to win this tournament", he said. "I've got to stay fit, I've got to stay on it, and have to stay as loose as I possibly can for as long as I play out here".