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Tiger Woods is confident of being fit for The Masters despite withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck injury.
Woods opted to skip last week's tournament at Bay Hill due to a neck strain, which he says is linked to the spinal fusion surgery he underwent in April 2017.
He will play this week's Players Championship at Sawgrass and expects the problem will not prevent him from competing at Augusta National from April 11-14.
"It's not painful now," Woods told reporters at Sawgrass. "It was getting to the point where it was affecting my set-up, my backswing, it was just gradually getting worse and that's just because my lower back is fused.
"It's about trying to manage what I have. I'm 43 with four back surgeries so let's manage what I have and understand that I'm going to have good weeks and bad weeks."
Woods, who will be bidding to win the Green Jacket for the fifth time, has enjoyed top-20 finishes in each of the three tournaments he has played this year - the Farmers Insurance Open, Genesis Open and WGC-Mexico Championship - and he believes he is on track for Augusta.
"I've played three tournaments this year so far, and that's about right. I was going to play three or four. If I would have got my rounds in last week, it would have been four tournaments, so I'm right there where I need to be" he explained.
"My finishes are getting a little bit better each and every time I've gone out so far this year, and I've gotten a little bit more consistent with my play, and I think that everything is headed on track towards April."
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Getty Images/Richard Heathcote