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Woods wants to improve accuracy for Sawgrass

Tiger Woods began his preparation for the Players Championship, widely regarded as the fifth "major", in cold and damp conditions on Tuesday.

The world number one comes into the tournament on one of the lowest notes of his career having tied for 46th at the Bay Hill Invitational, his worst finish in five years.

"I had one of those weeks I just didn't play well," Woods told reporters. "I played great the first day and I just did not play well the next three days. I played sporadically on a golf course where you can't do that."

Unfortunately for Woods the venues are not getting any easier.

The Players Championship takes place on one of the toughest courses on the tour, the TPC at Sawgrass, and the Masters Tournament begins in two weeks at the Augusta National.

"You have to be precise here," Woods said. "Now with the rough being as high as it has been over the last few years, you have to drive the ball well, but coming into the greens, you have to be very precise where you're putting it.

"It's amazing when you're playing well on this golf course and hitting your irons well, it's amazing how easy it seems. The ball seems to funnel into the holes.

"When you're playing poorly, every single shot repels, because you're missing the slope by maybe a yard or two and that's all it takes."

While Woods' record in 2004 is quite usual for him, five top-10s in six events and one win at the WGC-Match Play Championship, he has been struggling for accuracy.

"The past year or so I haven't really played my best," Woods said. "Two years ago was a heck of a task coming back and playing through the knee stuff.

"Last year I wasn't allowed to practise as much. This year I've been practising a heck of a lot more because I don't have to worry about it any more."

Since splitting with his long-time coach Butch Harmon just before the 2002 PGA Championship Woods has not won a major and has not come close to repeating his form of 2000 and 2001 when he won four majors in 10 months.

"Butch and I are still friends," Woods said. "I still talk to him when he's out here, when I'm out here.  As far as asking for help on my golf swing, no. But friendship-wise, Butch will always be my friend."

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