- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tiger Woods looked like something of his old self during a practice round Wednesday at Congressional Country Club.

He shot even par through 18 holes with a bogey on the par-4 11th and a birdie on the par-5 ninth for his last hole of the day. He’ll start on the back nine Thursday for the opening round of the Quicken Loans National.

“Generally it feels good,” said Woods. “I hit some loose shots today but I also hit some really good ones. Back feels great which is a really good sign.”

He looked comfortable off the tee, only struggling to hit the fairway once when the ball ended up in the woods — after which he saved himself by hitting the green on his very next shot.

“I tried it out last week, and didn’t have any problem hitting shots off uneven lies,” said Woods. “That was a shot I actually had already tested.”

The only real hiccup with Woods‘ long game in an otherwise favorable practice round was his second drive on the 18th hole which pulled farther right than he intended.

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“My grip got a little bit weak,” Woods said. “That’s one of the reasons I was losing the ball to the right, so just got to strengthen it up. Something that we were working on last week, just tends to creep over there into a weaker position but strengthening it again and start piping it again.”

Woods also had some trouble putting when he set himself up for birdies several times but missed short or wide.

“[I’ve] just got to keep it in front of me and obviously put the ball in the right spots on these greens because if you’re in the wrong spots, it’s an unfortunately tough task to make birdies,” he said.

Going into Thursday’s opening round Woods seems confident that he’ll be able to keep up on a tough course.

“I tee off on the same side about the same time, so it will be the same conditions,” said Woods. “The course was playing really long and we’ll see how it plays tomorrow. The guys aren’t going to go really low here.”

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