He may have been written off by many in the past two years who consider him to be a spent force but former world No.1 Tiger Woods insists he can again dominate the game.
Woods’ last tournament victory came at the 2009 Australian Masters in Melbourne, just before his world was turned upside down amid the breakdown of his marriage and revelations of a series of affairs.
Having been sidelined for eight months in 2010, Woods has endured another restricted season, making only 10 starts and missing the US and British Opens because of knee and Achilles injuries.
But preparing for this week’s Australian Open at The Lakes in Sydney, ahead of next week’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, Woods said he’s feeling in top shape.
“I feel great, it’s nice to not have to do rehab assignments every day,” Woods said.
“It’s nice to be able to train properly and then have unlimited ball count on the golf course, because I was limited for so long at how many golf balls I could hit on the golf course because of the injury but now that’s all been taken away, I can practice all day if I want.”
Woods is now so confident in his body that he believes he can get back to dominating the game because he will now be able to devote himself to practice again, hoping to follow the lead of another former world No.1 Vijay Singh.
“My concern is winning golf tournaments and being prepared to win, which is something I haven’t been able to do for a while, I haven’t been able to practice.”
“Now that I’m able to do that, now physically I feel ready to go and that takes time.”
“Winning golf tournaments and being consistent … I’ve been lucky enough to have done it for a decade, so there’s nothing wrong with doing it again.”
“I know that Vijay was like that well into his 40s.”
“I think he’s won more tournaments than anybody in the history of our sport in their 40s.”
“(And) I’m not there (in my 40s) yet, by the way.”
Woods is hopeful of a strong showing this week at The Lakes but with little knowledge of the course and having only played four holes on Tuesday, he isn’t making any big statements.
“Well, I’m here to try to get a W (win), just like I am at every event, that hasn’t changed, but I need some work to do before that happens,” he added.
“I’ll take a look at the golf course, figure it out, figure out the game plan and then execute my game plan.”