Couples backs Woods
Fred Couples and Tiger Woods
Sydney - Golfing veteran Fred Couples expects Tiger Woods to "start playing better" in 2011 and to revive interest in the U.S. PGA Tour.
The 1992 Masters champion, in Sydney for this week's Australian Open, said "when Tiger gets going again our (PGA) Tour will get going at a better rate."
Couples said the PGA Tour had been "blessed" by Woods' arrival 12 years ago which had boosted interest and sponsorship. He said it was only a matter of time before Woods overcame technical and emotional issues and started improving.
Woods was "still the same golfer," Couples said, "just not playing like he did last year for a lot of reasons. One would be his golf game but another would be a lot of emotions going on, a lot of tough times."
Woods has gone more than a year without winning a tournament, following the November 2009 SUV crash that led to allegations of infidelity. His wife later divorced him.
Woods also sat out for nearly five months, including two months in a rehabilitation clinic, and changed swing coaches.