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Woods admits to long-term fitness doubts

ESPN staff
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Watch Tiger Woods' press conference ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship


Tiger Woods has admitted his back injury has cast doubt over his long-term fitness despite confirming he will defend his title at this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship.

The world No.1 pulled out of the final round of the Honda Classic on Sunday, just five holes from the end, sparking concerns that he may not be able to play at Doral.

And with in-depth revelations over his fitness rare, Woods' airing of his doubts have to be taken seriously.

Woods said: "As I have aged, I don't heal as fast as I used to, I don't bounce back. There's times that watching my kids run around, I wish I could do that again.

"You have just to take a more global look at it sometimes and take a step back.

"The will to win hasn't changed. It's physically am I able to do it? A bad back is something that is no joke.

"When I've had my injuries over the years, it always hurt like hell after impact. So it's fine as the ball's gone.

"I can do my job and deliver the club and deliver the final moment to the ball and hit the shot I want to hit. But with the back, it's a totally different deal. There are certain moments, certain movements you just can't do."

Woods, speaking at a press conference before the championship, said he is confident he will complete all four rounds over Doral's newly-renovated Blue Monster course this week.

However, he did not divulge if he would play again before The Masters - a tournament he has made clear he is focusing on. Woods is due to defend his title at the Bay Hill Invitational in two weeks.

He added: "I'm constantly looking at that, looking at managing myself through there. I want to be strong and healthy to try to win my fifth green jacket.

"We have looked at my scheduling and practice sessions and all that stuff and we have tried to come up with a good plan."

There is a strong possibility that Woods may not be world No.1 by the time Augusta rolls around, as he could lose top spot to Adam Scott this week.

Tiger Woods pulled out of the Honda Classic on Sunday because he couldn't "twist" © AP
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