Tiger senses return to form

2011-11-21 07:24
Tiger Woods (AP)

Melbourne - Tiger Woods believes his game is coming together after a brilliant singles victory that handed the United States their seventh triumph in The Presidents Cup over the Internationals.

The former world number one ripped around the demanding Royal Melbourne course with five birdies in his opening 11 holes as he put paid to Australian Aaron Baddeley and claimed the winning point in the Americans' 19-15 victory.

Without a tournament win in two years, Woods says he is encouraged by his reconstructed game after being in contention for last week's Australian Open and starring on Sunday's final day of the biennial teams event.

"I think my game is getting better. I played well this week and I am very pleased at the progress I've made so far," said Woods, who beat Baddeley four and three.

"I was actually leading the tournament at the Australian Open in Sydney," he said, adding that his performance there showed he was playing well.

"I felt like I could easily have won that event if I had just putted halfway decent on the Saturday," he added.

"Unfortunately, I just had one bad day of putting which cost me an event.

"I just continued on this week and this is the way I've been hitting it at home."

Woods finished third behind Greg Chalmers at The Lakes after putting himself in a winning position for the first time since the Augusta Masters in April.

The 14-time major champion next tees off in the World Challenge at Thousand Oaks, California, starting on December 1.

"Now I've got a week off and play Chevron, so I'm really looking forward to that," he said.

Woods more than justified the faith US team captain Fred Couples placed in him as one of his two captain's picks for The Presidents Cup.

"He's just a great captain, period," he said. "He's fun to play for. I'm thankful that he picked me. Greg Norman (International captain) is probably not happy about it after I closed out the Cup.

"But it's been great to be a part of this team. I'm thankful that Freddie believed in me to be a part of this team and this is just a great bunch of guys."

Woods, whose appearances this year have been limited because of injuries, was praised by Couples.

"He was ready to go this whole week. He was ready for a month," Couples said.

"A lot of people have asked why I picked him and how he was going to play.

"Certainly, I couldn't answer how he was going to play but this week I think he showed to himself that his swing is back and he's healthy, and that's more important to me.

"Obviously, we want to win the cup, but it's more important for me to have people realise that he can play the game and not worry."

Couples said his American team had acquitted themselves well on the testing layout.

"We won this week because we were better players, and I think we have a little motivation, and we teamed well and we won," he said.

"I give the guys a lot of credit because they came a couple weeks before this tournament, and we had a game plan to come play as a team, win as a team, and that's what we did."

The next Presidents Cup will be held at Muirfield Village Golf Club, Ohio, in 2013 with South Korea last week announced as the host of the 2015 Cup.

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