ORLANDO (Reuters) – Tiger Woods takes his rousing comeback tour to considered one of his favourite haunts – Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill format, the place the 14-times main winner has triumphed eight occasions.
Woods not solely feels supremely assured on the monitor, however cherishes the time spent with Palmer, who historically greeted the event winner on the final inexperienced within the metropolis Woods previously known as residence.
“To have the ability to win this event and to have Arnold there and to shake his hand and for him to offer me a giant hug and a few occasions he says: ‘I known as it, I knew you had been going to make that putt.’
“It was little issues like that … sharing jokes with him on the market on the inexperienced and he and I laughing. These are moments that sadly I’ll by no means have, however I’ve these reminiscences,” Woods instructed reporters forward of Thursday’s opening spherical of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The 42-year-old Woods had an extended relationship with seven-times main winner Palmer, who died in September 2016 aged 87.
“I first met Arnold once I performed right here within the U.S. Junior once I was 15,” stated Woods. “After which I moved right here in ‘96 and he invited me over right here to play in his Monday shoot-out and I did and I didn’t prefer it very a lot as a result of he took my cash.
“However I completely loved being round him, being with him and we had so many nice occasions. None extra so than final time I gained right here (in 2013)… We sat down, we simply began to BS and have a good time collectively and I’m going to overlook these occasions, for certain.”
That was the final 12 months Woods gained a PGA Tour title however the 42-year-old appears to be like like he could lastly be over the again accidents that sidelined him and restricted his capability to swing the membership.
His runner-up end final week on the Valspar Championship has lifted his confidence and given him hope of ending his five-year Tour title drought and possibly including to his main haul for the primary time since 2008 at subsequent month’s Masters.
Woods stated he’s taking it one step at a time since returning to competitors this 12 months after spinal fusion surgical procedure one 12 months in the past.
“Simply preserve getting higher. Simply preserve making incremental enhancements and I feel I’ve achieved that,” he stated.
“Every week I’ve discovered from what I’ve achieved and extra importantly I’m studying my physique. I’m studying how I can swing it and never swing it… these are all issues which are new. So I’m nonetheless studying, I’m getting loads higher at it.
“I feel that you just’re beginning to see the fruits of that now of the little tweaks I’ve made and I’m enthusiastic about it.”
Woods could also be taking one step at a time, however he can not assist however get psyched up a few return to the sphere at Augusta.
“ I really like enjoying Augusta Nationwide. I like it. And I understand how to play it,” stated the four-time Masters champion.
“Simply me being on the market on these greens and hitting putts and being inventive… there’s no different golf course prefer it on the planet and there’s no different golf event prefer it.
“It’s a gamers’ heaven.”