Woods still confident of win

Tiger and Rory both speak out about their varying games

AP's picture
Wed, 9 Feb 2011

Tiger Woods is once again insisting his game is improving ahead of the Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club.

The former world number one, who has been partnered up with the two who have overtaken him in the rankings - Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer - in the opening two rounds, finished 44th at Torrey Pines in his season opener.

But the 35-year-old, who must be sick of hearing the same questions over and over, churned out the same old spiel.

“I still feel I can win tournaments,” said the 14-time major champion. “I’m not that old. I figure I’ve got some years ahead of me.

“I don’t always win. I’ve certainly lost a lot more tournaments than I’ve won. But it’s the goal every week you tee up and that doesn’t change.”

Speaking of his performance in California, his worst start to a campaign as a pro, he added: “Certainly it was frustrating that I didn’t perform the way I know I could, but I’ve been here before. It takes time.

“I went through a two-year period where I didn’t do anything and a year-and-a-half period where I didn’t do anything. You don’t make changes and just start winning a bunch of golf tournaments.”

“It’s progressing. I’m putting pieces together and working on the same things.

“Good things happened in the last event I played in, and it’s nice to have some things that showed up that I had not had in practice. So we were able to identify that, work on it and I feel a lot more comfortable coming into this week.”

Meanwhile, 2009 champion Rory McIlroy, whose last five finishes have been fifth, sixth, fifth, fourth and second, is confident his own game is really starting to come together.

“If you would have seen me hitting balls in Dubai you wouldn’t have said I’d make the cut,” said the 21-year-old Ulsterman. “I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made.

“I’m actually hitting it a lot better than I was at the end of the year when I was contending in some of the tournaments. That’s a big positive for me.

“It feels like a long time since I won the Classic. I know I won last year in America, but it would be nice to win another event on the European Tour.

“The one goal that I set myself this year was just to work hard and if I can do that and I can stay true to that throughout the rest of the year I’ll be very happy.

“There were certain points last year where I didn’t feel as if I gave it 100% and as a professional sportsman you can’t do that.”