The only tools Tiger Woods used Wednesday at Doral (Fla.) were a wedge, a putter and a gold pair of scissors.

Three days after he withdrew during the final round at the Honda Classic with lower back pain and spasms, Woods returned to work at the Cadillac Championship by saying he feels better after a few days of constant treatment, and that he was good enough to try to defend his title.

He just won't be playing the new Blue Monster until the opening round Thursday. Still being cautious, Woods said he would chip and putt while walking a course that is entirely different from the one where he has won four times.

As for the scissors?

That was for the ceremonial opening of the Tiger Woods Villa at Trump National Doral.

The Honda Classic was the second time in 10 tournaments that Woods experienced back pain during a round. For a guy with four surgeries on his left knee, the focus has now shifted to his lower back.

"I think we have to take a more global look at it, absolutely, because it comes and goes," Woods, 38, said. "We've got to make sure that we do preventative things to make sure that it doesn't happen and adjust certain things, whether it's swing, lifting, whatever it may be. You have to make certain adjustments. We've done that throughout my entire career, and this is no different.

"A bad back is something that is no joke. There are certain movements you just can't do. That's one of the things I've started to learn about this type of injury. It's very different."

Woods' motivation is to complete 72 holes without injury. It's also being fit for next month's Masters, his next chance to end a five-year drought in the majors.

"It's been a long couple days of just treatments nonstop, trying to get everything calmed down," Woods said. "First of all, get all the inflammation out and from there, getting the firing sequence right again, getting everything firing in the proper sequence. And once we did that today, feels good."

He did hit balls Tuesday at his home in Jupiter Island, no shot longer than 60 yards, mainly an attempt to make sure he kept the feel with his hands on a golf club. His caddie, Joe LaCava, came down to Doral and charted the course, giving Woods an idea of what to expect.

That wouldn't do it justice.

"I'm like, 'What? There's water on that hole?' " Woods said.

There's water just about everywhere, including a new lake on Nos. 15 and 16.

  • Donald Trump owns the resort and decided the course needed a total makeover, so within a few hours of Woods winning at Doral a year ago, the bulldozers came in and started giving the place a whole new look.

    "It's a new course, it's a different course," Trump said. "We want it to be bold, but we want it to be fair."

    Next month Trump starts work on a property next to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, the little parcel of land where the White House sits.

    "We have exciting jobs," Trump said. "But to me none of them is as exciting as Trump National Doral."