Short game gives Tiger Woods reason to smile

Last updated 14:46 03/12/2012

Relevant offers


Eleven-year-old Paraparaumu Beach golfer Alec Prentice sinks hole-in-one Cost of Tiger Woods' golfing weekend with President Obama soars past $5 million Lydia Ko struggles to even par as fired caddie helps rival to 2-under 69 in Malaysia Jayden Ford, 12, in top-three at NZ amateur after stunning start 'Sometimes change is a good thing' - Lydia Ko opens up on axing caddie Jason Hamilton Bank account 'tsunami' for Rory McIlroy's caddie as $1.5m tip comes in Powell powers his way to top of New Zealand amateur champs Lydia Ko battles Ariya Jutanugarn for major honours on LPGA Tour Waikato golfer Denzel Ieremia claims first US college individual victory From Heretaunga to Augusta, the race starts at NZ amateur at Royal Wellington


Tiger Woods was excited about his overall prospects and the sharpness of his short game for next year, despite failing to finish his 2012 campaign with a flourish at the World Challenge today.

Tournament host of the elite 18-player event at Sherwood Country Club, Woods went into the final round five shots off the lead and ended it eight strokes behind winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland.

A stunning eagle three at the 16th, where he struck his second shot from 252 yards to six feet, briefly put Woods five off the pace but he was unable to make up further ground on a rain-soaked day as he closed with a one-under-par 71.

"Overall I struggled with my game this week," the defending champion told reporters after falling well short in his bid to win a fourth tournament this year. "I didn't quite have it.

"But I've come a long way. Last year was a very disappointing year. I was hurt for most of the year and didn't really do much.

"And then to win this event last year, which spring-boarded me into this year. I won three times on tour, and once I passed Jack (Nicklaus) on my all-time wins that was a pretty neat accomplishment as well."

In July, 14-times major champion Woods moved past Nicklaus into second place on the all-time PGA Tour winners list when he clinched the AT&T National by two shots for his 74th title on the US circuit.

Although he has not triumphed in the majors since the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, Woods has been especially encouraged by the improvement in his short game in recent months.

"My short game has been really good from late summer on," said the American world number three who will celebrate his 37th birthday at the end of this month. "I was hitting the ball a little better so I was spending more time chipping and putting.

"But now I gotta hit the ball better than I have. I've got six weeks off so it will be nice to throw the clubs in the closet for a few weeks and then get back after it."

Asked how much he felt he needed that six-week break to recharge his batteries before starting his 2013 season, Woods replied: "I need it. It's been a long year and I've played a lot.

"I'm really looking forward to it, just having nothing to do with golf for a few weeks, put them (the clubs) away, enjoy the holidays and be with my kids.

"After that I'll start cranking back up again and start focusing on my shots. As far as actually sitting out there, working on my technique, my numbers and all that stuff, that's probably not going to happen at least until after Christmas."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content