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Woods happier with swing ahead of PGA Tour return

updated 9:20 AM EDT, Wed May 2, 2012
Woods says he took a full week off golf following his worst Masters performance as a pro.
Woods says he took a full week off golf following his worst Masters performance as a pro.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods says he has worked hard on his swing with coach Sean Foley
  • The former world No. 1 finished 40th at the Masters, his worst finish there as a pro
  • Woods will return at the Wells Fargo Championship beginning Thursday

(CNN) -- Tiger Woods believes he has fixed the swing problems that led to his disastrous Masters showing last month, although he accepts that a chronic left knee problem will always compromise his efforts to improve.

The former world No. 1 is getting ready for his first tournament since he finished way down the field in 40th at Augusta, his worst result as a pro at the tournament he has won four times.

He had started the tournament as many people's favorite after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the lead-up, but a string of wayward tee shots led to him failing to break par in any of the four rounds.

"At the Masters, I was kind of struggling with my ball-striking a little bit," Woods said during a question-and-answer session with his fans that was posted on his personal website. "Sean (Foley, Woods' swing coach) and I fixed it. It had to do with my posture. My setup wasn't quite right as well as my takeaway, so we worked on that.

"I'm getting dialed in."

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Tiger's troubled game exposed at Augusta

Woods will compete in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow beginning Thursday. He won the PGA Tour event in 2007, although he missed the cut in his last appearance in 2010.

"I feel like if I can do the things that we've been working on, and get my posture and my takeaway dialed in, then yes, I have a good chance," said Woods, who will then play at the Players Championship at Sawgrass the following week.

But the 36-year-old American said the left knee injury that has already needed surgery four times will be an issue for the rest of his career.

"I've trashed it pretty good over the years and we're working on things to alleviate the amount of stress (as much as) we possibly can on the knee so I can play for however long I want to play for," he said.

"And that's one of the reasons I've changed my swing over the years, to try and alleviate that stress. I've had four surgeries on the knee so let's just end it at four and have a nice happy, healthy life."

The video question and answer session was a first for Woods, who has opted not to carry out a news conference before the Wells Fargo tournament.

Woods has appeared increasingly keen to engage his fans in recent years, and especially since the scandal about his personal life erupted in 2009.

He answered 19 questions sent in via Facebook and Twitter in a 15-minute video.

Woods said his favorite trophy was the claret jug awarded to the winner of the British Open, which he has lifted three times. His most memorable putt was the one he holed from four foot to par the 18th and win the 1997 Masters by 12 strokes.

"To set the record, all the history it meant at the time, to have my dad there at the back of the green," Woods said. "By far it was the biggest."

Having taken a week off from golf completely after the Masters, Woods said he was excited about returning to action at Quail Hollow where Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson will be among his rivals. Masters winner Bubba Watson and world No. 1 Luke Donald are skipping the tournament.

"I didn't touch a club for a week and then the last couple of weeks I've got back into it gradually and started ramping up my practice schedule, my practice time," Woods said. "I feel very excited about playing, and all the things that Sean and I have been working on, I just need to implement."

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