Tiger Woods has twinge in back

Updated: March 22, 2012, 8:28 PM ET
By Bob Harig | ESPN.com

ORLANDO, Fla. -- As if he didn't have enough injuries to worry about, Tiger Woods appeared to hurt himself at the sixth hole of the pro-am at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Wednesday, when a camera went off during his backswing.

Woods abruptly stopped his swing, then seemed to favor his right leg and then his lower back. He later said he felt a "twinge" in his back and after several moments he hit a good tee shot and continued on with his round.

"I guess one of the so-called professional photographers took a picture right in the middle of my downswing," Woods said afterwards at Bay Hill Club. "I stopped it, and then felt a pretty good twinge in my back. Walked it off and then tried to hit one down there, hit it in the fairway, but didn't feel very good. But after a couple of holes it loosened up and I'm good to go now."

Woods begins play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Thursday, his first official event since withdrawing from the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral on March 11 with a strained Achilles.

That Achilles problem is what kept him out for most of four months last year and the reason why he decided it was best not to continue on Sunday.

Woods told reporters he experiences occasional tightness in the Achilles, but not to the extent when he walked off the course at Doral.

"It was just tight when I was warming up," he said. "And I did my normal warm-up routine in the gym and everything, and everything was fine. I got to the range, started warming up, started getting tight. And you know, as I said before, I've been through this before. I recognize the signs."

Asked if it could happen again without warning, Woods admitted possibility. "But hopefully it won't," he said.

"I've had tightness before, but not to that extent. But treatment afterwards always gets it right back to where it should be. And that's one of the reasons why I wasn't really that concerned about it; that I would come back and play these events, because when it gets that tight, treatment for two or three days, it's all fine, all the swelling goes away and I'm good to go."

Woods is in the midst of a weeklong stretch of golf, having played the Tavistock Cup club championship Monday and Tuesday. He also disclosed Wednesday he played a practice round at Augusta National on Sunday. The year's first major, the Masters, begins in two weeks.

"That's one of the reasons why I played Tavistock; it felt great at Augusta, and that was the test," said Woods, who is playing at Bay Hill, the last event prior to the Masters. "I played Tavistock because of that test, and here I am ready to go."

Woods, who has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational six times, will be grouped with Ernie Els and Hunter Mahan on Thursday and Friday. They begin play off the 10th tee at 8:26 a.m. ET Thursday.

Bob Harig | email

Golf Writer, ESPN.com

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