Tiger Woods Practicing with New Putter to Help with Back Injury, Stricker Says

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 6, 2020

Tiger Woods stands on the putting green during practice for the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Tiger Woods has a new plan to stay healthy on the course this week, and it starts with his short game.

With the PGA Championship set to tee off at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Woods has switched putters in an attempt to keep his back from flaring up.

Steve Stricker told ESPN's Bob Harig the modified Scotty Cameron Newport II putter Woods will use has already made a noticeable difference for the golfer:

"It's basically the same putter with a bit more flexibility. He's able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference.

"He's got a little more length on there, and that's just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That's what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter, and watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great."

Woods has won the PGA Championship four times in his career but is looking to break a drought that goes back to 2007. If he's going to make a run for the 2020 title, he'll need his typically stiff back to hang on for four rounds.

Woods is trusting his putter to help him out there.

"I expect good things from him if he can keep his body playable," Stricker said. "With this weather, it's a challenge. It's cool, it's damp, and so I imagine that will probably be the biggest challenge for him this week is to be able to feel like his body is 100 percent and give it a rip."