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Page last updated at 22:23 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 23:23 UK

Woods eyes Sawgrass improvement

Tiger Woods
Woods won the Players Championship in 2001

Tiger Woods is aiming to put right a poor recent record at the prestigious Players Championship at Sawgrass.

The world number one has failed to post a top-10 finish on the famous Stadium Course since winning what is often dubbed golf's fifth major in 2001.

"It's the best field in all of golf and played on a golf course that is very demanding," said Woods.

Defending champion Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington both missed the cut last week as they struggle for form.

Woods, the 14-time major champion, has finished ninth, first, sixth and fourth in his four strokeplay tournaments since coming back from an eight-month lay-off following knee surgery.

I'm not feeling 100% with my game at the moment, and it shows

Sergio Garcia

"I think I've done all right, all things considered," said Woods, who has been experimenting with different drivers in recent weeks.

"It's going to take a little time before my body gets back to where I can hit the ball the same distances, but it's coming.

"I have a whole new leg and each and every week I'm getting a little better and the body is starting to get a little more comfortable with everything.

"Last week was the first time I've been able to practice after a round.

"It makes things more difficult to get ready for the next day. But now I'll start doing that and start to rectify some of the wrongs for that day and get them right for the next day.

"There's only so much rehearsing you can do. You do have to hit physical golf shots to feel comfortable and improve and see some things change."

Garcia, who is still chasing a maiden major title despite 14 top-10 finishes, claimed the biggest prize of his career when he won at Sawgrass last year.

The 29-year-old climbed to number two in the world in November before slipping back to third behind Woods and Phil Mickelson in March.

But since then the Spaniard finished 77th in Houston and 38th at the Masters before amassing a second-round 78 to miss the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship, won by Sean O'Hair on Sunday.

"I'm not feeling 100% with my game at the moment, and it shows," he said.

When you're working on your weaknesses, sometimes your strengths get a little weak

Padraig Harrington

"We all go through these things. It's just a matter of keep going at it and waiting for things to change, just holding onto something good that will help you get through it.

"That's what I'm searching for and I'm sure I'll find it."

Ireland's Harrington also missed the cut in Charlotte following his 35th place at the Masters as he tried to win a third major in a row.

"I'm working on my swing, getting very bogged down in the technique and being concerned about that and trying to work through these things," said the three-time major champion.

"I've done this many times throughout my career. When you're working on your weaknesses, sometimes your strengths get a little weak, and that's what is happening to me at the moment.

"I'm not trying to play as well as I played last year to win my two majors. I'm trying to play better than that."

The Players Championship runs from 7-10 May in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

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see also
O'Hair hangs on for Charlotte win
03 May 09 |  Golf
Woods urged to make Ryder recce
29 Apr 09 |  Golf
Woods fightback seals superb win
30 Mar 09 |  Golf
Garcia snatches play-off victory
12 May 08 |  Golf

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