Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Miracle recovery for Woods as Westwood leads PGA Championship

August 7, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Tiger Wood's returned from injury, but didn't return to form after shooting 74.
Tiger Wood's returned from injury, but didn't return to form after shooting 74.
  • Tiger Woods makes miracle recovery
  • Had pulled out of the WGC Invitational with back trouble
  • Woods cards three over 74 but appears pain free
  • Westwood and Chappell hold clubhouse lead

(CNN) -- He was in, then he was out, then he was in again.

The build up to this year's PGA Championship in Valhalla had been dominated, as almost every major over the past decade has, by Tiger Woods.

This time the speculation concerned the state of his back after an injury in last weekend's WGC Bridgestone Invitational saw him pull out of the tournament mid-round.

I didn't play as well as I wanted
Tiger Woods

Woods cut a forlorn figure Sunday as he hobbled off the course clutching his lower back. He was barely able to take his shoes off as speculation swirled that Woods had suffered a recurrence of the injury that saw him undergo surgery three months ago.

Yet, four days later, Woods was teeing off, pain free, following a miraculous recovery.

But the four-time PGA Championship winner didn't get off to a good start.

One-on-one with Rory McIlroy
Tiger's shot at Major mark slipping away
Dufnering back in style after PGA win

Teeing off at the 10th, Woods was one over par at the turn before eventually finishing the round with a three over par 74.

It was just the second time he'd shot over 71 in seven PGA Championship appearances.

"I didn't play as well as I wanted to, and I didn't get a putt to the hole," he told the PGA's official website. "That's not a good combo."

Woods then headed for more treatment on his back. "I'm going to go ... make sure this thing is nice and loose for tomorrow," he added.

Two men who had no problems with the course were early clubhouse leaders Lee Westwood and Kevin Chappell, who both shot a six under par 65. Jim Furyk, who finished second last year, was just one shot behind.

It was a happy return to the tournament for Englishman Westwood. He saw a real chance of winning last year's PGA Championship evaporate with an abysmal final round 76 at Oak Hill. He's joined at the top of the leaderboard by unheralded American Chappell

All eyes will now be on world number one Rory McIlroy, fresh from victory in the Open and the WGC Invitational, who is chasing his fourth major.

'Pain-free' Tiger Woods: I can win PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy on top of the world... again

Part of complete coverage on
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1140 GMT (1940 HKT)
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 1131 GMT (1931 HKT)
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 1219 GMT (2019 HKT)
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
August 25, 2014 -- Updated 1540 GMT (2340 HKT)
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.