Tiger Woods reflects on an encouraging performance at the Honda Classic and feels he is making excellent progress in his comeback.
Tiger Woods declared himself “very happy” with his performance at the Honda Classic as he enjoyed his best result of the year so far.
Woods, whose return to full-field PGA Tour action began with a creditable top-25 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open, opted to play the first event of the Florida Swing for the first time since 2014 after missing the cut at the Genesis Open last week.
But the move proved an astute decision as he put together four consistent rounds in testing conditions throughout the week, and he threatened to pull off an unlikely victory on the final day when he made his third birdie of the round at the eighth to get within three shots of the lead.
However, a bogey at the ninth stalled his charge and, after getting the shot back at the 14th, he again found trouble at the short 15th when his tee shot found the water hazard short of the green.
A perfect tee shot from Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic knocks a goose off it's feet, but Woods still managed to make birdie!
Woods dropped another shot at 16 and parred in to settle for a closing 70, finishing in a tie for 12th on level par, but he was delighted with all aspects of his game and admitted his expectations for the future had increased.
“I thought I played well this week, I really did,” said Woods, who has yet to confirm his next start, which is expected to be at the Arnold Palmer Invitational next month.
“I didn’t play the last few holes well the last couple days, but overall I’m pleased with the progress I made and gave myself a chance at it. I was three under with four holes to go and if I had gotten two or three more coming in, I could have posted early.
“I feel very happy the way I played the entire week. I really controlled my ball flight. This wind, you can get exposed pretty easily and I felt like I had control. The solid thing about this week is I missed the ball in the correct spots.
“I had better control of my ball, especially in this wind. It’s not easy to do and I was able to do that most of the week. That’s something I’m very proud of. Each and every time I’ve come out to tournaments, I’m getting the feel of the round faster.
“I feel like each time out I’ve got better and I’ve got more of a feel for playing tournament golf again. The last couple of days, it felt easy to play tournament golf. The warm up felt good, I got into the flow of the round, and I could find the rhythm of the rounds faster. The more golf I’m playing tournament-wise, the faster I’m able to click into the feel of the round.
“I’ve been away from tournament golf for so long, that I’m starting to feel the rounds. I’m starting to get into it quicker, feel the pace, feel the shots and get a better sense of it. The more I play tournament golf, the better I’ll get at it.”
Woods also insisted his expectations for the season have increased on the back of his performance in Florida, and his No 1 target remains contending for a fifth Masters title in April.
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“My expectations have gone up,” he added. “I’m hitting the ball better. I knew I could putt it, I knew I could chip it, but I didn’t know how well I was going to hit it.
“I’ve had to get used to certain things. I can’t do what I used to do and I can’t hit the same shots, the same body positions. They are different. But I’m getting more accustomed to it and I’m very pleased about what has transpired, especially this week.
“I need to keep playing tournament golf, but I need to keep building on it, keep building my body, keep building towards April. That was the goal when I first came back. I told you guys at Torrey, I’m trying to get everything ready for April and I feel like I’m right on track for that.”