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Woods says schedule 'up in the air'

Tiger Woods said on Monday the neck injury hindering his game has his schedule "up in the air," but said he was "trying everything I can" to get healthy.

other Updated: May 17, 2010 15:33 IST

Tiger Woods said on Monday the neck injury hindering his game has his schedule "up in the air," but said he was "trying everything I can" to get healthy.

Woods also insisted his current neck pain has "no connection" to the car crash outside his home in November, a mysterious accident that heralded the start of a sex scandal that drove him into self-imposed exile for five months and left his reputation in tatters.

"Zero connection, absolutely zero," Woods said as he spoke to reporters at Arominink golf club outside Philadelphia, where July's AT&T National tournament will be held in July 1-4.

Woods had said last month that the crash had left him with a "busted-up lip and pretty sore neck".

But he said his current problem, which forced him out of The Players Championship on Sunday in the first mid-round tournament withdrawal of his professional career, began when he returned to practice after his break from golf.

"One of the reasons I think this thing flared up is because I wasn't conditioned to it," he said. "I'd been away from the game for such a long time, then came back and ramped up really quickly in order to try and play the Masters. The body wasn't quite ready for that."

Woods said the first thought the intermittent pain was "no big deal" but it has steadily worsened and now muscle spasms are preventing him from practising and playing properly.

"I want to practise, I want to play, I want to compete, but this is not allowing me to do the things that I need to do on my golf swing to hit the proper shots," he said.

Woods said Sunday he feared the injury could be a bulging disk, and he plans to have an MRI exam when he returns to Orlando.

"I need to figure out what's going on," he said.

Woods has played three tournaments since his return, starting with an apparently encouraging tie for fourth at the Masters.

But he missed the cut by a whopping eight shots at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, a week before pulling out of the Players at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

"For me not to play all 18 holes, that was as angry and as frustrated as I've been in a long time," said Woods, who left the course after playing six holes at the Sawgrass TPC.

The 14-time major champion said he still wants to resume his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles this year.

"I'm trying everything I can to get back as soon as I can," Woods said.

The next two majors come at courses where Woods has excelled in the past. The US Open June 17-20 will be at Pebble Beach, where Woods won by an astonishing 15 shots in 2000.

The British Open in July will be at St. Andrews, where Woods has won twice.

Those events are still on his radar, as are the US PGA Tour's Memorial and the AT&T National - both of which he won last year.

But Woods acknowledged nothing is certain.

"A lot is up in the air - which I don't like," he said.

First Published: May 17, 2010 15:32 IST