Fit Tiger ready to start again

A revitalised Tiger Woods will be hoping to start the new year in Abu Dhabi with a good performance against the world’s best.

A revitalised Tiger Woods will be hoping to start the new year in Abu Dhabi with a good performance against the world’s best.

Having finally ended his two-year victory draught with a win at the Chevron World Challenge at the tail-end of last season, and that after putting in good performances at the Australian Open and the Presidents Cup in preceding weeks, a 100% fit Woods is ready to begin again and build on the hard work he put into his game last year.

“The lowest moments (last year) came from the fact that I wasn’t healthy and couldn’t put in the time on and off the course that I wanted and needed to, and that was frustrating,” Woods told the Associated Press. “I was playing with pain and that isn’t fun. The last couple of months have been really fun and that is mostly because I am feeling healthy again and building week on week.”

Woods will start his 2012 campaign at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship against the likes of Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer come January 26, and is targeting a solid performance in that event to keep his momentum from last year going.

“I am looking to get off to a fast start in Abu Dhabi and keep building from there,” Woods said. “Now that I am healthy, I feel I can keep building my game and confidence week on week, much like I did at the end of (last) year – from the Australian Open to the Presidents Cup to, finally, a win in California.”

The former world number one knows he has his work cut out for him, however, with so much talent out there competing against him.

“There are so many great and talented players in the game right now – it is exciting for golf fans and I relish the challenge of going head-to-head with any number of the leading players on a Sunday afternoon,” Woods said. “Rory and Luke are both very talented golfers and I admire what they have achieved in the last year. I look forward to having many great battles on a Sunday afternoon with these great players in 2012.”

Woods knows that if he’s to reclaim the top spot in the world rankings he held for so long, it will require something special.

“The young guys coming through are practicing harder and training harder than ever before and raising the bar,” Woods said. “I think the level of consistency I had a few years ago would see me climb back up the rankings pretty quickly, but I do think there are some pretty phenomenal golfers out there that I really respect.”