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Tiger Woods finishes in pain, misses cut

Phil Mickelson of the United States and Tiger

Phil Mickelson of the United States and Tiger Woods of the United States walk across the 18th green during the second round of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 8, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Credit: Getty Images / Sam Greenwood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Tiger Woods was more sore than sure. He could not say if he will or even if he should play golf again this year. After missing the cut, though, he did know that his back was sending him a message and the message was pain.

"It was telling me on the range that [playing] probably wasn't a good idea," he said, "but I'm not exactly a non-stubborn person."

This week, his will was stronger than his body, and it persuaded him to play in the PGA Championship despite back spasms that caused him to withdraw from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last Sunday. He arrived at Valhalla Golf Club -- site of his intense playoff win over Bob May in the 2000 PGA -- on Wednesday, saying he was pain-free. He did not leave in the same condition.

"No doubt it was sore. It went out on me on the range, just had to play through it," he said after shooting his second consecutive 74 to finish 6 over. He missed the cut by five strokes.

Woods' will was stronger than his body, persuading him to play this week despite the possibility that he was putting his back at risk. He grimaced after shots, leading to speculation that he might quit mid-round, as he had on Sunday.

But he insisted that he had no regrets, saying that the latest problem, with the sacrum at the base of the back, had nothing to do with the microdiscectomy in late March that caused him to miss most of the season.

"It's a different area,'' he said. "When I fell out of the bunker last week, it's the same feeling [today], the same pain and the same spasms."

He could not say if he will play this fall or wait until the early winter and the California and Florida tour swings.

"Well, I need to get stronger. You can't burn the candle at both ends," he said. "I need to get stronger physically and be back to where I was."

At the very best, it would be a long shot for him to be a captain's pick by Tom Watson for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, which will play next month in Scotland. Woods was asked what he would say if Watson called to ask how he is feeling. "I don't know," the 14-time major champion said. "He hasn't called."

LIer misses cut. Long Islander Rob Corcoran, the teaching pro at Poxabogue Golf Center in Sagaponack, made birdies on two of his final three holes Friday but shot 77. With Thursday's 76, he missed the cut at 11 over.

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