DUBLIN, Ohio -- Tiger Woods arrived at Muirfield Village GC Tuesday afternoon and dived right into preparing to defend his title in the Memorial Tournament, practicing for about 90 minutes until his bright blue shirt was almost entirely drenched with perspiration on a sunny and humid afternoon.
"I feel fine, but I'm sweating my ass off," Woods, the No. 1 player in the world, said with a smile as he moved slowly from the driving range to an adjacent chipping area. "I'm just trying to work my way back into it."
Woods, who withdrew from The Players three weeks ago because of a neck injury, showed no signs of favoring his neck or shoulders as he spent the majority of his time experimenting with a series of Nike Victory Red Tour drivers with help from Rick Nichols, Nike's field tour manager. Woods tested five separate drivers with 8.5- and 9.5-degree lofts. Nichols said that Woods is likely to use an 8.5-degree model on Thursday when he begins his opening round at 12:44 p.m. EDT on the No. 1 tee with Steve Stricker and Jason Bohn.
Woods seemed to be walking gingerly, and he flexed his left knee -- the one he had surgically repaired in 2008 -- a couple of times during his range session. A spokesman for Woods, Glenn Greenspan, said that Woods was fine and not reporting any physical problems.
After missing the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship the week before withdrawing from The Players, Woods is seeking to stabilize his game in preparation for the U.S. Open in two weeks at Pebble Beach. He couldn't find too many places better than the Muirfield Village; Woods has won the Memorial a record four times.