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Tiger Woods expects to be better than ever

Anyone hoping Tiger Woods would have lost a little edge when he returns to golf after his knee surgery will be sorely disappointed because the world number one believes he will be better than ever.

“I’ve been trying to make changes (in my swing) for years, but I didn’t have much in (the knee),” Woods told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday at a lavish suite at the Hotel Bel-Air in Beverly Hills.

“It will be nice to be able to hit against a solid left side for the first time in years.”

Woods, wearing a dark suit and dark shirt without a tie, spoke about his comeback after holding a news conference in the hotel to unveil plans for his latest golf course design, “Punta Brava”, an ocean view layout along the shoreline of Ensenada, Mexico.

The 32-year-old American has been working on the design, his third foray into golf architecture, since stress fractures and a torn ligament in his left knee that was exacerbated in his playoff victory at the U.S. Open in San Diego in June forced him out for the season.

Woods said he planned to return to competition sometime in 2009, though did not expect to be 100 percent healthy until 2010.

The 14-times major champion, however, said he would not change his attacking approach when he resumed play.

“Not at all,” he said. “It’s just the healing time frame. After six months it’s about 85 percent healed and the whole idea is not to do more damage.”

Woods became more animated when discussing last month’s Ryder Cup, where the United States beat Europe for the first time since 1999.

“We finally putted well,” said Woods, who said he watched some of the action and was thrilled with the victory.

“We’ve putted well at the Presidents Cup, but never the Ryder Cup. We made all the putts, hence we won.”

Woods also showed enthusiasm for “Punta Brava,” meaning wild point, which is his first ocean course and an endearing project for the native Californian who grew up along the beaches, a drive away from Mexico.

“From every single hole on this golf course you can see the ocean,” Woods said about the 6,853-yard, par-70 layout which is scheduled to open in late 2010 or early 2011.

“You don’t find that on many courses.”


October 8, 2008

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