Thomas aiming for FedEx mark even Tiger couldn't conquer

Tiger Woods

Is No. 80 coming in the next month?

"As I've said before, this has been a blessing", he said. I just haven't showed up.

Woods delivered the largest crowd Tampa had ever seen for a golf tournament when he finished one shot behind at the Valspar Championship.

"I was in a soft cast for nearly two-and-a-half months".

Tiger Woods was ranked 656th in the world and facing an unknown golf future entering 2018 as he mounted a tenuous comeback following a fourth back surgery.

"We've been working on it, experimenting with different shafts and different lofts on my driver and 3-wood, as well", Woods said. "I was nervous playing with the Tiger".

Right now, his number one priority is the Ryder Cup.

"He's looking pretty good and it'd be great for the game if he does, but hopefully I win this week". I didn't have the option to fall back into a comfort zone. "I'll play Aronimink after the tournament". He is 10 strokes back of three-time major victor Brooks Koepka and Jamie Lovemark in a tie for 67th place. However, his average proximity to the hole on his approach shots was close to 40 feet, so he did not leave himself with many good looks at birdie.

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But that's in April.

Woods is in the playoffs for the first time since 2013, when he was crowned champion of the season-long points race.

"I'm super excited", he said. "If I play good golf I'm just going to work into the next week".

"It's a very bunched board right now", he said. The last two years have provided the ultimate test after his wife, Lisa, was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. I had no golf in my future at that time. I don't have anything to lose. "I don't need anybody to tell me".

NOTES: Brandt Snedeker, who won last week's Wyndham Championship, withdrew from The Northern Trust due to back spasms. He's now headed into what should be his busiest stretch in the last nine years, with his likely appearance in seven events over the next nine weeks starting with The Northern Trust, which begins Thursday.

"Because I made the last putt", the only two-time victor of the FedExCup said with a laugh. "To now be receiving the Payne Stewart Award, I feel extremely honored".

Along the way Woods has relished the opportunity to compete against the best players on tour, a chance he thought was gone forever a year ago. Five players are missing because of injuries (Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Bud Cauley), a wedding to attend (Patrick Rodgers) or an extra week of rest (Rory McIlroy). On the PGA Tour Champions, he has 37 victories, including a record 10 majors.

Unlike the PGA Tour, Pazder said the Web.com Tour will continue to play a "calendar" schedule, although he added that creating a wraparound schedule could be an option in the future. It's been a long year, and that was one of my goals - to make that team. He has clinched the points-based award from the PGA of America as player of the year.

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The PGA Tour award is a vote of the players.

Watching Tiger over the last eight months, it seems hard to believe that at this time a year ago, he still wasn't sure if a return to competitive golf would even be possible. One wild drive cost him at the 17th, where the ball went so far left it wasn't even worth searching for in the woods. "It's not real complicated". The PGA Tour vote went to Mark O'Meara for his Masters and British Open titles.

"The interesting role here is that I'm a vice captain, so we're talking about myself in the third person a lot", he explained.

An obscure record was set at the PGA Championship.

That's followed by the Dell Technologies Championship and BMW Championship the next two weeks.

He acknowledged there was a lot a stake, given a Tour Championship start guarantees starts at all four major championships next year. "I had a hard time seeing my lines, and consequently I didn't make anything".

Tiger Woods also got in on the act.

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