Skip to main content

Tiger Woods: I feel explosive again

updated 11:20 AM EST, Wed February 8, 2012
Tiger Woods has not won one of golf's four majors since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Tiger Woods has not won one of golf's four majors since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • American Tiger Woods will make his 2012 PGA Tour debut at Pebble Beach this weekend
  • The 14-time major winner has not won a Tour event since November 2009
  • Woods finished third at last week's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
  • Despite a disappointing final round, Woods is pleased with his current form

(CNN) -- Former world No. 1 Tiger Woods is confident he is returning to top form ahead of his first PGA Tour appearance of 2012 at Pebble Beach this week.

The American clinched 14 majors between 1997 and 2008, but has struggled with injury over the last two years and has not won an officially sanctioned tournament since November 2009.

But Woods has shown signs of improvement in recent months, winning the Chevron World Challenge event he hosts in December and finishing tied for third at last weekend's Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

The 36-year-old, who has also gone through a high-profile divorce after admitting extramarital affairs, said he is now able to train thoroughly, rather than rehabilitating the leg injuries which have plagued him in recent years.

Tiger talks about finish in Abu Dhabi

Why golf (and big business) still need Tiger Woods

"Rehabbing and training are two totally different scenarios," he told reporters ahead of the AT&T Pebble Beach National, which starts Thursday and offers a winner's purse of $1.152 million.

"I haven't been able to train. I haven't been healthy enough. I'm now training and my body is feeling explosive again. Consequently I'm hitting the ball further."

Woods entered the final round of last week's European Tour event tied for the lead with eventual winner Robert Rock, but found only two fairways over the last 18 holes and finished two shots behind the Englishman.

I'm now training and my body is feeling explosive again, consequently I'm hitting the ball further
Tiger Woods

Despite missing out on victory, Woods was encouraged by his performance in the Gulf.

"That was my bad day and it wasn't that bad. I know the stats show I only hit two fairways, but I landed the ball on eight and ran through it," he said.

"My stats said I hit six greens, but I putted from off the green four times so that's 10 greens. If I can have that as my bad ball-striking day, we're looking pretty good."

Woods has won a total of 71 PGA Tour events since turning pro in 1996 -- only the legendary duo of Jack Nicklaus with 73 and the late Sam Snead on 82 have claimed more.

Now ranked 18th after falling outside the top 50 last year, he admits that practicing and preparing for tournaments gets harder the older he gets.

"The more we age, the more time we need to heal," he said. "I don't recover quite as well.

"I know that I'm sore quite often, just about every day when I'm playing with my kids. I don't remember ever being like that. I just have to train smarter, practice smarter."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT