Woods takes plenty of positives

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Despite a relatively lackluster performance, Tiger Woods says he is encouraged by his performance at Firestone.

Despite a relatively lackluster performance, Tiger Woods says he is encouraged by his performance at Firestone.

Woods returned to action at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week, his first tournament back from nearly three months off due to knee and achilles injuries.

Opening with a very solid 68 in the first round, his form became increasingly more erratic as the tournament wore on, and he eventually finished in a tie for 37th after a final-round 70.

The former world number one admits that he is struggling to find any real consistency in his game at this stage.

“I’m still getting a feel for it and I still keep falling back in my old patterns,” he said at Firestone on Sunday.

“At the beginning today I was fine, I hit the ball well, then I lost it, I got back in my old patterns, my old grip, my old swing plane and I was fighting it there for a little bit.

“I tried to piece it back together, yesterday I did a really good job of that, but today it wasn’t so good.

“I was hitting it so well and then I absolutely lost it. I hit a couple of balls left, a couple of balls right, a couple more balls left… I just completely lost it there.”

While he acknowledges that he is still far from being at his best, Woods said he was able to take plenty of positives from his performance at Firestone – though he would have liked more time to work on his game before the final major of the season, the US PGA Championship, which takes place in Atlanta this week.

“Obviously I don’t have a lot of time,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of getting out there. I need to do the reps on the range.

“I’m still struggling with my alignment and trusting the fact that the ball doesn’t shape as much as it used to. But I’m absolutely encouraged. You have to understand I haven’t played.

“At home playing money games with my buddies is just not quite the same.”

Would he have liked another tournament to work on things before the PGA?

“It would be nice, but I’ve got three days, so I’m going to worry about them, apply it accordingly and be ready come Thursday,” he added.

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