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Woods looking to hit top form at Memorial

World number one Tiger Woods returns to Muirfield Village to play in this week's Memorial Tournament confident he can shake a slump in form.

Woods, who won his eighth major at the U.S. Open at Bethpage in 2002 but failed in his last seven attempts to win a major, has only one win this year -- at the WGC-Match Play in February, while his last stroke play victory was last October at the WGC-American Express.

"It's golf," said Woods on Wednesday. "Golf is not easy. If you look at any other player who has ever played the game, they'll tell you it's tough.

"It's very tough. You go through periods where you just don't play well."

While he has not been winning, Woods said he has felt since his tied for 22nd-place finish at the Masters that he is close to getting his game back and at the Memorial tournament, he has as a good opportunity as ever to turn things around.

Woods has won three times in seven visits and finished tied for fourth last year after a final round 65.

"You can see signs of it, piece by piece," Woods said of his recent improvement. "If you look at the steady progress I've made -- you have to be out there watching me day after day in order to see the steady progress.

"If you haven't been out there, then you wouldn't see it."

Since the Masters, Woods missed a playoff by one shot at both the Wachovia Championship and the Byron Nelson.

However in both events he was wild off the tee and if not for incredible putting would have been further down the leaderboard.

Woods is now in preparation for the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills later this month and while the Memorial is not a warm-up event for the Open, it will be a clear indicator of how Woods is playing going into the second major of the year.

He said, however, his best game may not be required to win at Shinnecock.

"You don't go out there (at an U.S. Open) and drive every green and two-putt for birdie," said Woods.

"You have to make putts. If you look at my U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, I didn't miss one single putt under 10 feet for the week. That's good putting.

"That's kind of how I putted for that stretch. Yeah, I hit the ball decent at times and I also hit the ball horrific at times.

"But when you make putts, it's amazing what you can go out there and shoot."

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