Tiger Woods focused on Augusta after T5 at Bay Hill


The Arnold Palmer Invitational was the second Sunday in a row where Tiger Woods was in contention to win a tournament. And now, his focus is purely on the Masters. 

Woods, whose chances disappeared after he sailed a driver OB on the left of the 16th at the API, ended up in a tie for 5th as Rory McIlroy charged to victory over the back nine at Bay Hill.

But it was still another postive week for Woods as he continues to contend in a comeback that has been more successful than most could have imagined. Since the Hero World Challenge in December, Woods has gone from No. 668th to No. 105th in the world rankings, and has gone 12-T2-T5 in his last three starts. 

"If you would have given me this opportunity in December and January, I would have taken it in a heartbeat," he said.

"Everything was an unknown. I didn't know what I was going to feel like, what I was going to do, what swing I was going to make. Especially Torrey Pines, was the rough going to be the same pain I was going to feel like I felt last year? I don't know. But coming through that I've gotten a little better, a little bit sharper and I worked my way up there into the leaderboard back-to-back weeks and had a chance, which is nice."

Woods, who is not playing in the WGC Dell Match Play or the Shell Houston Open the next two weeks, has his sights now firmly set on preparing for Augusta. 

"I’m looking forward to it. I haven’t really thought that much about it, especially this week. I’ve been grinding and focusing on this week, trying to win this thing and now the tournament’s over, I’ll start to make some changes for Augusta, what kind of equipment setup I’m going to go with, some things I want to do with my swing', Woods said. "As crazy as this may sound I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years."

"I miss playing there. I’ve been there for the dinner and as great as that is, it’s frustrating knowing that I’m, I would have to say, young enough to play the event, where some of the other champions are not, and I just have not been able to physically do it."

"I’ve had a lot of success there, too, so really looking forward to getting up there and doing a bit of work and getting a feel for the golf course and basically feel for playing that style of golf again."

"I need to go take a look at it. As I said, I haven’t putted on bent grass in two years. So this is going to be new to me. Playing on rye like that overseeded rye, different spins that we’re going to encounter there, and I was talking with Joey about that early in the week I’ll figure out what wedge system I want to use for that week, what bounce system, get used to those bunkers, sand’s very heavy, thick. So just have to do a little bit of work."

How is his comeback actually going? The Stats

Stat Ranked
Driving Distance 304.4 (T36)
Driving Accuracy 51.61 (192nd)
Scoring Average 69.47 (5th)
Club Head Speed 121.90 mph (3rd)
GIR 61.42% (174th)
Scrambling 64.80% (18th)
Putts Per Round 27.78 (4th)
One Putt % 45.06% (4th)
Putting from 3' 100% (1st)
SG Total 7th
SG Off-The-Tee 148th
SG Approach- To-Green 14th
SG Around The Green 21st
SG Putting 14th
Ball Speed 180.50 (8th)