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December 2 2012

11:30 PM

Woods has come long way in year

Interview: Tiger Woods

Following a final-round 71, Tiger Woods talks about his play in the 2012 World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual with Steve Sands from Golf Channel.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- A year ago, Tiger Woods ended a 748-day drought with a win at the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual. Sunday, he was pleased with how far he’d come since.

“Last year was a very disappointing year,” said Woods, who tied for fourth behind winner Graeme McDowell at Sherwood Country Club following a 71 in a rain-soaked final round. “I was hurt for most of the year and didn't really do much.”

This season, Woods won three times with victories at Bay Hill, Murifield Village and Congressional. He also ended the regular season first in FedExCup points and ends this year having moved to second in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Success didn’t come easy for Woods, though.

He suffered an Achilles injury that forced him to withdraw from the final round in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.

Two weeks later, he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard but followed with a a tie for 40th at the Masters, shooting a 74 in the final round to finish the week 5 over for the highest total score he’s ever recorded at Augusta National as a professional.

In Woods’ next start, he missed the cut at Quail Hollow before another disappointing performance at THE PLAYERS Championship, where he tied for 40th.

Then came two more wins in his next three starts before another missed cut, this time at The Greenbrier Classic, which he played for the first time in his career.

Twice in 2012 Woods played events he hadn’t previously -- The Honda Classic in Jupiter, Fla., where he now lives, was the other.

In all, Woods played in 19 events on the PGA TOUR, the most since 2005 when he made 21 starts. The last two years combined, he played in 21 tournaments.

Up next for Woods? Six weeks off.

“I need it,” Woods said. “It's been a long year and I've played a lot. Just really looking forward to it, just having nothing to do with golf for a few weeks, just put the clubs away, enjoy the holidays, be with my kids and just really enjoy that.

“I'll hit a few balls, but as far as actually sitting out there and working on my technique and my numbers and all that stuff, that's probably not going to happen at least until after Christmas.”

When Woods does return to practice, one of the areas he’ll likely focus on is his short game. From 75-100 yards, Woods ranked 140th on TOUR. From 125-150 yards, he was 111th.

”My short game has been really good from late summer on,” Woods said. “I was hitting the ball a little better and I was spending more time chipping and putting, but now I have to hit the ball better than I have. So I've got six weeks off, so will be nice to throw the clubs in the closet for a few weeks and then get back after it.”

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