Tiger Woods takes ice bath, prepares for final major of year

People are preparing for the 100th PGA which starts Thursday

Or the questions that have started to follow Rory McIlroy, who needs to win the Masters, and Phil Mickelson, who has played the U.S. Open five times without capturing the only major he's missing.

"I have put myself in contention in the majors".

"And that was probably a sign that I should have picked up on a lot quicker. I'm just trying to make that little step from contending and getting into final groups to lifting trophies".

Dealing with all the noise would be more exhausting than playing five of six weeks - the current expected schedule - but Woods has always been good about shutting out such distractions and going about his business. I have said this many times this year, I didn't know if I could do this again, and lo and behold, here I am.

Golf's biggest names will compete for glory at the 100th PGA Championship, the final major of the season, taking place August 9-12 at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri.

"I could have maybe persevered last week if it was the last event of the season or something like that, but just with what's coming up this week it just wasn't the prudent decision to play through".

"But it's a process".

'By March I saw that his game and his health was in a lot better shape so he's been challenging this year and moving up that points list, which has been fun to watch.

Second-ranked Thomas tees off in Thursday's opening round at Bellerive Country Club alongside 14-time major victor Tiger Woods and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy.

"I only had to think about it for about a month", Woods said of the career Slam. "He was in bed".

Holmes was already planning to play with Thomas Wednesday, and the Kentucky duo got linked up with Koepka and Woods ahead of the first tee.

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"Even though he's won 14 of these things, if you haven't done it for awhile, you still have to re-learn a few things, and I think he's going through that stage".

The PGA Championship is the first time Woods has been back at Bellerive since 2001.

Bellerive has also hosted the inaugural Mid-Amateur Championship in 1981, the US Senior Open in 2004, the 2008 BMW Championship, the 2013 Senior PGA Championship and now the 100th PGA Championship.

"In golf, you just have to be an eternal optimist", McIlroy said. "I need to train really hard and limit how much I do in practice, the wear and tear on the body, because I'm going to be putting it through its paces in tournament play".

"I needed that day off".

"It's been a slightly different preparation for me this week because of it", Rose said, "but I think it's all been about trying to get to Thursday and be ready for Thursday". "I don't know, because I haven't been on a team ... but to represent your country, and rally together with the boys, it's just a really cool camaraderie from what I've seen". I'm 42 now and I've had four back surgeries.

He briefly led the British Open on Sunday, and after one week of recovery, Woods began a stretch that could include seven starts in the span of two months if he plays the full FedEx Cup playoff slate.

Woods lowest score was a second round 63 on route to victory in 2007 while his highest round an opening day 77 in the 2011 and the very first time he missed the cut.

Heavy rains that fell at Bellerive this week hardly slowed its massive greens, which tournament coordinator Kerry Haigh said were running right where he wants them for the PGA Championship.

That noise? It's softened considerably during the a year ago, and the spotlight that accompanied him to Quail Hallow shines a little less brightly on Spieth in St. Louis.

"With him being a friend, I was more personally just happy for Fran".

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