Tiger Woods' competitiveness and defiance remained intact, three days after his surgically repaired back balked.
"Yes," Woods said, when asked if he can win the 96th PGA Championship that begins Thursday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky.
Woods said he'll tee off from No. 10 with Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington at 5:35 a.m. on a par-71 layout that designer Jack Nicklaus has altered since Woods won the second of his four PGA Championships in 2000.
That Woods is even here after withdrawing from the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday speaks to his desire to finally bag his 15th major and also make the U.S. Ryder Cup team as a captain's pick.
Last seen having difficulty removing his shoes after withdrawing at Firestone Country Club, Woods said what happened in Ohio is unrelated to his March 31 back surgery to address a pinched nerve.
"Basically when I landed in the bunker (after following through on a shot at the second hole), my sacrum went out," Woods said. "It pinched the nerve and hence the spasms. My physio put it back in. We've just been treating it, some soft-tissue work. ... Once the bone was put back in, the spasms went away and I started getting some range of motion."
The will-he-or-won't-he angle created a surreal Wednesday that included photographs of his empty parking space at Valhalla.
Woods last won a major at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Woods, who tied for 69th at the British Open last month in his only major of the season, said he decided to play at Valhalla on Tuesday afternoon when his "firing sequence was back to normal" and his "sequencing was good." And Woods must feel fine -- he fired off a playful tweak at the media when he declared himself "pain-free, except for the headache of talking to you (reporters)."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.