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Tiger Woods gets up and down out of politics trap

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the 17th green during the third round of the Northern Trust on Saturday in Ridgewood, N.J. Credit: Getty Images / Gregory Shamus

PARAMUS, N.J. — After a so-so final round in a disappointing week, Tiger Woods avoided getting enmeshed in politics Sunday. He was asked pointedly about his relationship with President Trump and neither supported nor criticized the commander in chief.

“Well, I’ve known Donald for a number of years. We’ve played golf together. We’ve had dinner together. I’ve known him pre-presidency and obviously during his presidency,” Woods said after shooting 1-under-par 70 to finish the Northern Trust at 4 under.

When he was asked specifically about Trump’s policies, Woods added: “He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”

When the questioner asked Woods if he would like to offer a comment on race relations in general, he said: “No. I just finished 72 holes and [am] really hungry.”  

Watney reflective

Nick Watney, 37, finished at 10 under, just as he was when he won this tournament (then known as the Barclays) at Bethpage Black in 2012, his most recent tour victory. This time it gave him only a tie for 11th place, but it did give him hope.

He has had back problems, missing almost all of the 2015 season with a herniated disc. He chose rest and rehabilitation rather than surgery, which worked out, but it was tedious. “Golf is what I love to do and it’s what I have done for quite a while. Not being able to do it, my days felt empty,” he said after his final-round 2-under 69 at Ridgewood Country Club. “I didn’t realize how much time I spent on the game, whether it was training or practicing or playing. And when I couldn’t, it was strange, a very uncomfortable feeling.”

He said his back feels fine and his mind is clear, especially when he comes here. “I guess New York is ‘put up or shut up,’” he said. “I love the golf courses we have here, classic. I’m not sure why exactly, but I wish we played here more.”

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