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Tiger Woods still coming to terms with fathers death

With his clinical victory at the British Open last month, Tiger Woods appeared to have got back on track after the death of his father.

But as he prepared to return to the PGA Tour grind at the Buick Open on Wednesday, the world number one said he continues to wrestle with grief over the loss of a man who had been his coach, mentor and best friend.

"People have come up to me and said really nice things since the Open and that's awfully nice of them," Woods told reporters. "They can say all these nice things but I still miss my dad.

"What hurt so much for me this year at Augusta (the Masters) was not winning because I knew that was dad's last tournament he would ever see me play in.

"It hurt quite a bit, I've never been as disappointed walking off a golf tournament.

"I just wanted to play well at the U.S. Open and I was able to win the British Open. I kept coming back, why couldn't I have done this a few majors ago and give him one more thing to see."

Just the second regular PGA Tour event since the passing of his father Earl in May, the Buick will represent a challenge on several different fronts for Woods.

Controlling his emotions may well prove easier for the 30-year-old American than controlling his driver.

The Warwick Hills Golf Club will put the driver back in Woods' hands after using it only once in four rounds at Hoylake on his way to capturing his 11th career major.

While Woods ranks among the top 10 in driving distance on the PGA Tour, he has struggled to keep the ball on the fairway off the tee, ranking 159th in driving accuracy.

But Warwick Hills has long been a favourite of Woods, who won here in 2002 and produced five top-five finishes in his six appearances.

"I think it's a fantastic venue," said Woods, the winner of three titles on the 2006 PGA Tour along with the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic in February.

"It's an older golf course. It's not a tricked up golf course. You have to go out there and play it.

"It's always about the par fives here. When the wind is not blowing, for me, I can get to every par five.

"I just feel comfortable playing here."

Woods, however, is not as at ease discussing his emotional reaction to his victory at the British Open.

While golf once provided a sanctuary for Woods, it now serves as a constant reminder of happier time.

"Probably the hardest thing for me to do was get back and play again because that's how I learned the game," said Woods. "I learned it from Dad.

"I never really lose my emotions like that...I've never done that before.

"It's because I've never, ever played (won) a golf tournament without Dad.

"It was the first time where I've ever been in a gold tournament without Dad either seeing me or being around physically where I could call him up and say, we can talk and rap about it.

"Those days are gone. I'll never have that day again."



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