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Added December 1st, 2011 by Chalk

Tiger Woods: “I’ve Made Tremendous Strides”

On Thursday, Tiger Woods will play in his final tournament of the year in California, where he is favored to win the Chevron World Challenges. Tiger finally sounds confident that he’s got his groove back after a pretty successful trip to Australia last month that included his best finish of the year, third place at the Australian Open, and getting the clinching point at the Presidents Cup.

Tiger was asked if he had higher expectations after his relative success in Australia. “Absolutely, I feel very excited about next year,” said an emphatic Tiger. “Absolutely, I can sense it. … Absolutely, I have made tremendous strides.”

So what’s changed? “I’m swinging the club well enough that you don’t need to walk out there with hockey helmets on,” said Tiger. “Playing in Oz for two weeks … I hit all shapes, all trajectories, and if you look at the rounds, I hit most of my shots pin-high. That’s an indication if the wind’s blowing that hard, that I’m really controlling my trajectory well. … You’re not going to hit all perfect golf shots for 18 holes, but as long as you miss in the right spots, it’s easy to get up and down.”

Perhaps the best sign Tiger had was that when he was in contention on the final day of the Australian Open, he didn’t feel any added pressure. “On Sunday, I felt the same way I did the first three days, and that’s a good sign,” said Tiger. “I feel very comfortable being up there.”

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