Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tiger making progress

Tiger Woods is getting back into swing of things. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods is getting back into swing of things. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods is getting back into swing of things. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images) Gallery: Tiger making progress
TIGER WOODS is making progress in his recovery from back surgery and starting to extend his swing, his agent said yesterday.

Woods already has missed two majors this year while he recovers from a microdiscectomy on his back on March 31. He last played on March 9 at Doral, when he closed with a 78 despite the pain in his lower back. Woods has said he has no idea when he will be healthy enough to return to competition.

A report on Golf Channel's morning show said he was taking full swings at the Medalist Golf Club in South Florida.

"Tiger is progressing like he expected," Mark Steinberg, of Excel Sports Management, said in an email. "Feeling good each day. As each day passes and he feels that way, he lengthens the swing a bit."

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  • Woods is the tournament host next week for the Quicken Loans National at Congressional. It is not expected that he will play. The deadline to enter is Friday. This is the first year of title sponsorship for the Detroit-based company.

    The next major is the British Open on July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool, where Woods won in 2006.

    The last time Woods missed two majors in one year because of injuries was in 2011, when he sat out the U.S. Open and British Open to let his leg fully recover. That year, he returned at Bridgestone Invitational in early August, a World Golf Championship that has no cut.

    In a promotional day for Quicken Loans last month, Woods said he was chipping and putting in a way that did not require rotation in his back. That was 4 weeks ago.

    He also did not know how much time it would take for him to be ready for a tournament once he could take full swings with no pain.

    Woods has slipped from No. 1 to No. 4 in the world ranking, and he is likely to fall a couple of more spots in coming weeks. He is at No. 207 in the FedEx Cup standings - having finished 72 holes only once this year - and the top 125 get into the playoffs that start Aug. 21.

    Colleges

    * Pinch-hitter John Gatlin's single into short rightfield over a pulled-in, five-man infield in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Mississippi a 2-1 victory over Texas Tech in a College World Series elimination game in Omaha, Neb. Ole Miss (47-20) will play TCU or Virginia tomorrow.

    Mike Maker, who led Williams College to the Division III national championship game last season for the second time in 5 years, has been hired as the men's basketball coach at Marist College. Maker will replace Jeff Bower, who left after one season to become general manager of the Detroit Pistons. Maker had a 147-32 record in 6 years at Williams.

    Hockey

    * Two people familiar with the Buffalo Sabres' decision have told the Associated Press the team has placed underperforming forward Ville Leino on waivers for the purpose of buying out the remaining 3 years of his contract. Leino, a former Flyer, was set to make $13.5 million over the final 3 years of a 6-year, $27 million contract. Should Leino go unclaimed on 24-hour waivers, the Sabres would buy out his contract by paying him two-thirds of what he's owed. Leino had 10 goals and 46 points in 137 games with Buffalo.

    * The Dallas Stars bought out the final year of defenseman Aaron Rome's contract, a move that will give the club more salary-cap space. Rome, who signed a 3-year free-agent contract in 2012, had one assist in 25 games during an injury-plagued season.

    Track

    * American sprinter Justin Gatlin won the 100 meters at the Golden Spike meet in the Czech Republic, clocking 9.86 seconds to improve his own world-leading time of the year. In a 1-2 finish for the United States, Mike Rodgers came second in 10.08.

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