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Tiger Woods unsure about 2007 plans

Tiger Woods, who was named the PGA Tour player of the year for a record eighth time on Tuesday, is uncertain when he will launch his 2007 campaign.

The world number one usually kicks off at the Tour's season-opening Mercedes Championships in Kapalua, Hawaii. For the moment, though, he is leaving his options wide open.

"I haven't really looked forward to that," the 30-year-old American told reporters at Sherwood Country Club where he is hosting this week's Target World Challenge.

"I'm just looking forward to actually playing this event and then going skiing and just getting away. Having some time off and then basically evaluate."

The year-end is certain to bring a mixture of joy and sadness for Woods as he experiences his first Christmas without his beloved father Earl, who died in May after a long battle with cancer.

"The holiday seasons the last couple of years haven't really been a whole lot of fun, especially this past one," said Woods, who will turn 31 on December 30.

"I didn't even know it was Christmas Day. All the days just blended together because dad was really struggling at the time.

"I didn't do anything for my birthday. I didn't even know it was my birthday. I was up three, four, five days in a row just trying to be with dad. I just hung around him as much as I possibly could, so everything kind of blended together."

The Mercedes Championships, to be played next year from January 4-7, brings together all the winners from the previous PGA Tour season.

Twice champion Woods has until the week before the 2007 event to confirm his place in the field.

Although his early-year journey to Hawaii is uncertain, he is much more clear-cut about his goals for the season.

"My whole deal is just to try to get better and to keep pushing myself to get better each and every year," said Woods, whose remarkable haul of eight PGA Tour titles in 2006 included two majors.

"I'll win tournaments along the way, if I'm able to continue to improve," he added.

The 12-times major champion, occasionally quick to let off steam after an errant drive, also wants to curb his temper.

"I'm competitive and unfortunately sometimes, you know, I let my anger get in the way," he said. "It comes out, and there's better ways at handling your anger.

"Sometimes I don't always do that properly, there's no doubt about that. I try and will always continue to try because I am very competitive and I like to beat people."

This week, Woods will be bidding to beat 15 others at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sherwood Country Club in an invitational tournament he has won twice.

U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy heads a strong international contingent including holder Luke Donald, European number one Padraig Harrington, Michael Campbell, Colin Montgomerie, Paul Casey, Jose Maria Olazabal, David Howell, Henrik Stenson and Adam Scott.

David Toms and Chris DiMarco are joined by fellow Americans Fred Couples, John Daly and twice winner Davis Love III.

The tournament starts on Thursday.

December 13, 2006

 




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