Tiger Woods will look to get back on track this week in the 39th PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He missed the cut last week by one stroke at the Wells Fargo Championship for only the eighth time in his PGA Tour career.
"I tend to creep back into old patterns, and that's what kind of happened," Woods said Tuesday during a pre-tournament press conference. "Unfortunately, I had a lot of time on the weekend to work on my game, so I was able to do that."
Woods headed out for a practice round Tuesday afternoon after meeting with the media and said he has worked hard with swing coach Sean Foley on posture and alignment.
"It's a process," Woods said. "Unfortunately, the last two tournaments I've played in weren't that great. So, no big deal. We'll just continue working and try and put it together this week."
Woods said it is no different than when he tweaked his swing while working with Butch Harmon and Hank Haney.
"It takes time and a lot of reps," he said. "The fruits have been pretty good on the back side of it, and I think so far I've shown some nice consistency."
Some have suggested Woods looks too mechanical on the course and should play more by feel. That said, he ranks second on the PGA Tour in scoring at 69.32.
"Well, certainly it is when you are making changes," Woods said. "I've been through this where I wasn't quite where I wanted to be. I had some pretty good runs after that, and this is no different. I keep building, and things eventually come around to where they feel natural and efficient."
During a conference call with golf writers, Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee suggested Tiger should resume working with Harmon.
"Well, I can understand that everyone has an opinion, and he's entitled to his," Woods said. "But he's no longer playing anymore, so, so be it."
Another analyst, Nick Faldo of Golf Channel and CBS, said he thinks Tiger has lost his self-belief.
"I always find it interesting since they're not in my head," said Woods. "They must have some kind of superpower I don't know about."
For Woods, the bottom line is that every player struggles at times. The only way to improve is to stay patient and keep working hard.
"We've all gone through this," said Woods, who won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in mid-March. "You're not going to play well every week. There are times when I have felt awful over a golf ball, and I've still somehow won a golf tournament. It doesn't mean I feel comfortable but just somehow figured out a way."
The field will be comprised of 144 players, and the purse is $9.5 million, with the winner collecting $1,710,000. K.J. Choi is the defending champion.
Last year, Woods withdrew from the tournament after nine holes of the first round due to pain in his left knee and Achilles. He also withdrew due to injury after seven holes in the final round of 2010 with a neck injury.
"I had a few issues going on physically there," Woods said of last year's tournament. "I was wondering whether I should have played, and because this is a big event, I tried to tee it up, and it didn't work out. But it's nice to actually be healthy again and do all my training and everything I need to do to get ready to play. That's something that I could not do at the time."
Woods previously won THE PLAYERS Championship in 2001 and was runner-up in 2000.
"It's either I've done really well or I haven't," Woods said. "I've been right there in contention with a chance or I haven't. I think that's the nature of this golf course, though. When you're off on this golf course, you're going to get penalized pretty severely, but when you're on, this golf course seems pretty easy because all the balls tend to funnel towards the flag."
The 7,220-yard course was originally designed in 1979 by Pete Dye, who created the layout out of old swamp property. He redesigned it in 2006, and it features 93 bunkers and 24 water hazards.
Five greens -- Nos. 4, 13, 16, 17 and 18 -- have been softened to create additional pin placements and more consistent speeds. Every green has a Sub-Air System underneath it to control moisture.
Fred Couples (1992) and Greg Norman (1994) share the course record of 63.
"You just can't fake it on this golf course," Woods said. "That's the biggest thing we've learned over the years. You have to just play well, period."
Woods begins first-round play Thursday on the 10th tee at 8:39 a.m. ET with Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan.