Saturday 24 March 2018

I haven't slept for days, says heartbroken Tiger

Tiger Woods signs autographs for golf fans while walking off the ninth green during yesterday’s practice round at Sawgrass
Tiger Woods signs autographs for golf fans while walking off the ninth green during yesterday’s practice round at Sawgrass

Kevin Garside

In the ever-evolving drama that is Tiger Woods, heartache was not a theme we expected. Yet it was an emotional Woods that addressed the golfing world at Sawgrass yesterday, admitting to sleepless nights after the break-up of his three-year romance with skier Lindsey Vonn.

Though it is not known who flicked whom on Sunday, Woods was clearly upset at the turn of events, which coincided with the anniversary of his father's death nine years ago.

"Obviously it does affect me (the break-up). It is tough, I'm not going to lie about that," Woods said. "And on top of that this time of year is brutal on me, this three-day stretch is very tough. And what happened on Sunday just adds to it. I haven't slept."

A month ago at his appearance at the Masters, Woods and Vonn were the showpiece attraction at the par-three competition, where Woods' children, Sam (7), and Charlie (6), shared the caddying duties while being chaperoned by Vonn.

Woods has not appeared so vulnerable since his mea culpa speech at the same PGA Tour headquarters five years ago following the Thanksgiving meltdown that brought an abrupt end to his marriage. Two months later he teed up for his first tournament of the year at the Masters and finished fourth, showing his endless capacity for compartmentalising his emotions.

He is grouped at The Players Championship tomorrow with Adam Scott and last year's champion, Martin Kaymer. After nine early holes yesterday he said he is ready to challenge for one of the five tournaments he won in 2013.

"I was a little bit rusty out there, but more than anything I was just a little bit tired," he said. "I have two days to get ready for Thursday and a late tee-time helps. Once you're inside the ropes it's time to play. I get into my little world, my little zone for that five-hour time period and do the best I possibly can to grind it out and win golf tournaments. Because, in the end, that's what I want to do in that particular week."

Woods' absence for much of the season has seen him drop to 125 in the world rankings, his lowest position since his first year as a pro. This excluded him from last week's WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship, won by world No 1 Rory McIlroy.

"I'm going to start playing a little bit more since I'm in some of these events now, not like last week. I'm able to start playing a regular schedule now and start getting after it. I've had some pretty good practice sessions. My short game still feels really good. We made a couple of little swing tweaks to keep improving, to keep working on it, to keep getting it better, so that part is still a little bit fresh." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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