Woods gets off to slow 2011 start

2011-01-31 07:48

A new season produced another disappointing week for former world number one Tiger Woods.

Woods posted a three-over par 75 on Sunday for a one-under total of 287 in the US PGA Farmers Insurance Open, a score that left him tied for 44th behind winner Bubba Watson, 15 strokes off the pace.

The 14-time major champion had won his past five starts at Torrey Pines, including four straight US PGA Tour titles and the 2008 US Open.

He has seven pro victories here in total and had never before finished outside the top 10.

But he departs still in search of his first victory since the Australian Masters in November 2009.

Shortly after that triumph, he was engulfed in a sex scandal that ultimately ended his marriage.

Woods acknowledged he had higher hopes for the week after progress late last year and in the off-season with the swing changes he implemented with coach Sean Foley.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I started out hitting it pretty good out here this week. I really did, and it progressively got worse.”

He said he would put in some more work with Foley before the Dubai Desert Classic on February 10 to 13.

“We have some things that we need to work on,” Woods said. “I can do it on the range, but it’s a little different when I’ve got to bring it out here and I’ve got to shape the shots.”

The tone of Woods’ round was set early.

He missed a six-footer at the first hole and an eight-footer at the second, eventually finishing with five bogeys and two birdies.

“I hit it as pure as I could possibly hit it starting out and got nothing out of it,” Woods said.

“As the round went on, I progressively got worse with my golf swing – and ironically enough felt better and better with the putter. So it’s one of those things.”

Woods vowed that he would continue to work on perfecting the changes in his game.

“I’m not looking back,” he said. “I’m moving foward. That’s what I have to do and that’s what I’m doing.”

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