Tiger Woods: 'We're all just building toward that one week in April'
Tiger Woods talks process, Augusta, Dubai, and what it's like to get your 'feels' back.
Tiger Woods wants to make it very clear that he has one thing on his mind. And that one thing is not winning the Honda Classic or the Cadillac Championship or even Bay Hill (where he has won eight times).
That one thing is Augusta National.
In an interview with Bob Harig of ESPN on Friday, Woods reiterated that.
"Once the Florida Swing starts, we're all just building toward that one week in April," Woods said. "We're all about building toward that. Don't finish dead last [on the Florida swing]. And if you win, great."
Woods has had a lot of "great" over the years as he has racked up 16 wins in Florida. He has also won 14 times in California, which is where he started off so poorly this year with a third-round 79 at the Farmers Insurance Open.
"It's not the way I'm used to starting," he said. "But also I didn't have the practice time I'm used to. I knew eventually it would kick in. Unfortunately it took me six rounds before it kicked in. I was very pleased with it on Sunday at Dubai and then India on Tuesday [last week]. It was merely a continuation of that. I put it together."
The Dubai-India double dip was a business trip as much as anything else, but Woods apparently found something there he had been missing over here.
"I took a lot of time off this winter to get ready for the season because it's going to be a long grind," Woods said. "It took three rounds in San Diego and three rounds in Dubai before finally it clicked in. My golf feels finally came back. Whatever shot I saw, I hit. Whatever number was given to me by Joey [caddie Joe LaCava], I hit. I had a wonderful feel for it.
"Then I went to India and it was just a continuation of that. I finally have my golf feels back. It just took a little longer than I would like."
I don't know what it's like to get your "golf feels" back -- or to lose them, for that matter -- but Woods shot a final-round 71 in Dubai and said he "piped it all day."
"Unfortunately I turned it around too late," Woods said to Golf Channel. "I piped it all day. My iron game was not as sharp as I'd like, and I didn't make anything. I had seven lip-outs ... That's quite a few."
When pressed on what he needed to show in terms of results, Woods dug into his inner Nick Saban and talked about the process.
"All the shots you're trying to hit, you're hitting," he said. "All the putts you're reading, you are reading them and hitting your lines. As long as you keep hitting your lines, things will start to turn around, everything will click."
It will be interesting to see if Woods' perceived "feels" actually are back over the next month. He claims he got it back that Sunday in Dubai and while a 71 doesn't necessarily speak to that, it doesn't dissuade it either.
Unfortunately we'll have to wait another week until he plays again. Woods is skipping the Match Play Championship next week.
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