March 6 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. -- A year ago, Tiger Woods limped off Trump Doral with an Achilles injury and a familiar feeling.
"It was at a point that if I kept going, yeah I could have pushed it to that point, just like when I came back and tried to play THE PLAYERS," Woods said Wednesday. "I learned my lesson from THE PLAYERS and I didn't do it, and consequently I was able to go on and win the next tournament I played in, which was Bay Hill."
Woods had previously injured his knee and Achilles during the third round of the 2011 Masters. He finished the tournament but a month later would withdraw during his opening round at TPC Sawgrass, where he pulled out after nine holes.
Last year at Trump Doral, the Achilles flared up again. Woods withdrew after 12 holes in the final round.
This time, Woods arrives at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship fully healthy and off four wins in the last 12 months.
Only Rory McIlroy can boast a better record in that time.
"I've made some pretty significant gains in my strength," Woods said. "That's one reason why I'm hitting it farther. I have my legs underneath me."
Now it's just a matter of Woods finding consistency with his swing, which is still a work in progress under coach Sean Foley. At times, it's shown in his play.
Woods was inconsistent last week at PGA National, where he failed to break par in any of his four rounds a year after finishing second there.
He also missed the cut in his first start of the year in Abu Dhabi.
In between was a win at Torrey Pines, where everything seemed to click.
"We are working on the same exact things," Woods said of his efforts with Foley, who was on hand for Woods' practice round on Wednesday. "We are just trying to refine it. We are trying to maneuver the golf ball both ways, be efficient."
Being healthy enough to play is a good place to start. So is a return to Miami, where Woods has three times before.