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February 7 2012

8:43 PM

Tiger talks progress, belly putter, more

Interview: Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods talks to Fred Albers of Sirius XM on Tuesday at Pebble Beach.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Tiger Woods is playing in this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the first time in a decade. Here are some of the highlights from his press conference Tuesday:

On the progress he’s made from last year to this one: “I’ve been able to train again,” Woods said. “Rehabbing and training are two totally different scenarios. I’ve been rehabbing pretty much the entire last couple of years, and I haven’t been able to train. I’ve made huge progress there, hence I’m able to so the things Sean [Foley’ wants me to do with my golf swing.” That included being on a strict ball count, among things for Woods, who added that he’s now able to “literally practice all day if I want to.”

Woods’ thoughts on the belly putter, which it doesn’t sound like he’d ever switch to: “I believe [putting] is the art of controlling the body and club and swinging the pendulum,” Woods said. “I’m a traditionalist when it comes to that. I’ve talked to [R&A chief] Peter Dawson about this for a number of years. My idea was to have it so that the putter would be equal to or less than the shortest club in your bag.”

On why it’s hard to play well with the lead on Sunday, something Kyle Stanley and Spencer Levin have struggled with the last two weeks: “It’s hard to win,” Woods said. “You’re in a position where if you do make a few mistakes, it’s all right because you have shots to play with. Then again, if you get off to a poor start early you can still rectify it, but you send momentum down the field. For me personally, I’ve always been excited about being in that position. I know I’ve played well to get there, so I’m just trying to do the same things I did to get there.”

On losing in Abu Dhabi, where he entered the final round with a share of the lead: “The first three days I didn’t make any putts and the last three days I putted beautifully,” he said. “Unfortunately I didn’t give myself any looks on Sunday. Even though I lost, I was pleased with the way that was my bad day of ball-striking. If I can have that as my bad ball-striking day, we’re looking pretty good.”

On what makes his pro-am partner, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, such a good player: “He’s one of those gifted athletes that whatever he picks up, he can do,” he said. “He understands how to play and on top of that he can really move the ball.” Woods and Romo also played together at the 2009 AT&T National.

On his future schedule and whether he’ll play The Honda Classic next month: “I’m playing in the future, I just don’t know when yet.”

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