St Andrews - Tiger Woods declared his tie for 32nd at the Greenbrier Classic
a "very positive week" and sounded genuinely excited about his
prospects ahead of this month's British Open at St Andrews starting on July 16.
Woods has won twice at the Old Course, in 2000 and 2005, but it would be
premature to suggest his game is quite ready to be etched on the Claret Jug
Still, after signing his first bogey-free card in 56 rounds on the PGA Tour,
he had reason for tempered optimism after finishing six strokes behind winner Danny
Lee in West Virginia on Sunday.
A day after six-times major champion Nick Faldo concluded that Woods was
still prone to blocking drives under pressure, the American former world number
one was singing a different tune.
"It's the best I hit it in a long, long time," the 14-times major
champion told reporters after signing for a three-under 67.
"This could have been one of those special rounds. I really could have
gone low. I had full control over all clubs. I hit it great. I had shapes both
ways, right-to-left, left-to-right.
"If I just made a couple of putts, this week could have been completely
different. I've made some nice strides heading into the British Open."
It is only one month since Woods shot his worst round as a professional, an
85 at the Memorial tournament, and he also missed the cut at the US Open.
Although the easy conditions on a rain-softened course at the Greenbrier did
not provide the most exacting test, Woods said that being in the midst of swing
changes at the Memorial played a role in what appeared to be a performance that
augured badly for his future.
"I made a big giant step at Memorial, even though I shot those
numbers," he said. "I shot those high numbers but shifting the
baseline like I did, consequently I'm here now. Very excited about it.
"I've just got to get used to the feel. It's a completely different
motion. It's not a short-term fix. People looking for the one quick fix and the
very next day play great golf, it doesn't work that way.
"It takes time to build it. I'm very pleased with what I've been able