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Tiger Woods credits parents with return to form

Tiger Woods credited his Buddhist mother and former Green Beret father on Tuesday for his return to the top of the world rankings.

The American, who heads the field at this week's Champions tournament in Shanghai, has dominated in 2005 after going through a tortuous revamping of his swing last year.

But Woods attributed his success to a combination of mother Kultida's calming influence and his father Earl's tough streak.

"My mum's of Buddhist descent so obviously she has a very calm nature," the 10-times major winner told reporters ahead of his first official tournament in China.

"My dad was in the special forces, a Green Beret, so he was tough. He taught me how to be tough on the golf course and how to focus.

"His life depended on it. That's where my mental approach comes from."

Woods arrived on a flight from Atlanta earlier in the day following his runner-up finish in the Tour Championship at the weekend.

Still groggy from the flight, he went straight off to play the front nine of Shanghai's Sheshan International Golf Club and promptly threw down the gauntlet to his rivals.

"There's no reason why you can't shoot some good numbers here," said Woods, who led the 2005 PGA Tour in earnings with a career-best $10.6 million.

"A couple of the par-fours, you can have a run at them from the tee and one or two of the par-fives are reachable in two. I'm pretty sure some guys will be having a run at them."

The U.S. Masters and British Open champion added: "For me, coming to Asia, whether it's Japan, China or Thailand, it's a comfort level."

The inaugural Champions tournament is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the European Tour, the PGA Tour of Australia and South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

Title winners from all four sanctioning tours will be competing in the $5 million tournament, the richest in Asian golf history and also the opening event on the 2006 European Tour.

World number two Vijay Singh and U.S. PGA champion Phil Mickelson are also among the field as well as European number one Colin Montgomerie and U.S. Open winner Michael Campbell.

Woods warned his rivals that he had become a 'smarter' player and that turning 30 next month would not slow him down.

"It's my 10th season as a pro and I can't do some of the things I used to," he said. "I don't have the recovery (speed). But I'm smarter -- I train smarter, play smarter.

"I'm more efficient."

November 8, 2005

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