Woods returns after a hard working winter

Woods returns after a hard working winter

Former world number one Tiger Woods makes his seasonal debut at one his favourite courses and is hoping some hard work over the winter will reap dividends in this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

Woods concedes that he didn’t pay enough attention to his play around the greens and with his well publicised off-course distractions this contributed to a winless year in 2010 and his slide to third in the world rankings.
Speaking on a practice day, Woods described what happened to the strongest part of his game: "I didn't focus on my short game as much as I needed to and have in the past," he said.

"It was because I was making changes to my swing and I needed to spend more time on that. But I have had time to work on my short game during this off-season. You need to hit thousands of balls and we were not able to do that last year and last year was one of the worst putting years I have had.

"It's been a while since I have had a full off-season. I've been hurt quite a bit over that period and it's nice to have a true off-season to work on my game.”

Woods will partner Rocco Mediate for the first 36 holes which conjures more painful but happy memories for the 14-time major winner. A wounded Tiger beat Mediate at Torrey Pines after a compelling 19-hole play-off for the 2008 US Open before limping off the course having played for most of the week suffering a double stress fracture in his knee.

But, Torrey Pines has been a happy hunting ground for Tiger over the years and he will be pleased to make his first appearance on course since winning his last major title. Farmers have replaced the old sponsors Buick for the event dominated by Woods in recent times and with 5 wins in 6 appearances since 2003 and it will be no coincidence that Tiger has opted play one of his favourite layouts in effort to return to winning ways and regain his place at the top of the world rankings.

Bookmakers have made Woods firm favourite for a successful strat to his season and with most of the world’s best golfers missing the event his odds are 11/4 just about everywhere. Phil Mickleson is the only other player in the world’s top ten competing in San Diego and is generally available at 16/1 second favourite.



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