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Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 12:09 UK

The Open 2010: Tiger Woods selects new putter

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website, with updates on BBC Radio 5 live Full coverage details

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Woods in awe of St Andrews history

Tiger Woods is changing his putter for the first time in 11 years as he bids for Open glory at St Andrews.

The world number one has ditched the model that helped him win 13 of his 14 majors for one he has been using in practice ahead of Thursday's tee-off.

Woods said: "I've always struggled on slower greens and the one I've gone to this week comes off faster and I've had to make very little adjustment."

He was again asked about the state of his marriage but refused to comment.

Woods also insisted that the well-documented events in his private life would not affect his chances of winning his fourth Open title.

"It doesn't impact on it at all," he said. "I'm here to play the Old Course at St Andrews - the home of golf - it's as good as it gets. I would like to win no matter what."

Two of the 34-year-old American's three Open wins have been at St Andrews (2000 and 2005) and he is bidding for his third straight major success on the course.

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"To win here has been one of the biggest highlights of my career," he stated. "It's amazing how many great champions have won here and to be a part of that history is a pretty neat feeling."

He continued: "It's great to be back at this golf course. It's playing a bit different to the (other) times I've played here - the greens are a little bit slower - but by the end of the first practice round I was getting a feel for it.

"The weather coming in is not so good, so all the players will have to make some adjustments ,but the course is in spectacular shape.

"You're going to have some real long putts here no matter how you hit it and you just have to get down in two."

On his new putter, Woods added: "I've always been tempted to change my putter on slower greens. I've always struggled when greens are really slow. I always feel more comfortable when the greens get quick.

"This putter does come off faster. It rolls the ball better and rolls it faster so I've had to make very little adjustment in how hard I'm hitting it compared to if I had my older putter.

"I've always experimented with other putters throughout the years, but I've never put one in play until now."

Scottish golf fans have always been fantastic. They have been great to me over the years

Tiger Woods

Woods was inevitably asked questions about both his private life and his public image during Tuesday's media conference at St Andrews and repeatedly said: "I'm trying to be a better player and a better person."

He revealed he "had a great time with my kids" after jetting home ahead of the Open but when asked about reports that he has agreed to a divorce settlement with wife Elin, he replied: "I'm not going to go into that."

Woods also refused to go into any detail about his recent interview with the FBI concerning Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who helped him recover from knee surgery in 2008 but has since been charged with administering unlawful drugs.

The player, who has vehemently denied ever taking performance-enhancing substances, said: "I can't go into any of that because of the fact that's an on-going case. I can't comment."

Woods added that he expected to get a good reception at St Andrews and commented: "Scottish golf fans have always been fantastic. They have been great to me over the years. I wouldn't see anything different than what they have been over the years."



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see also
Rose partners Woods at St Andrews
12 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods suffers in St Andrews gales
11 Jul 10 |  Golf
Injured Westwood to play at Open
13 Jul 10 |  Golf
Big Irish welcome for Woods
05 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods grateful for warm reception
09 Apr 10 |  Golf
Repentant Woods sorry for affairs
19 Feb 10 |  Golf


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