Woods needs work, but family is first

Refuses to add Tour stops even though he says game needs work

March 10, 2011

DORAL, Fla. — Tiger Woods often says he needs more work, getting additional reps with a golf swing he's changing from driver to putter. Yet his schedule hasn't added one stop since his return from a scandal-induced hiatus 11 months ago.

The reason: Family time. Or at least a single father's time with his kids.

"I have a family," Woods said succinctly when the topic was broached after this morning's practice round at the TPC Blue Monster. "I'm divorced. If you've been divorced with kids, then you would understand."

Woods has played just nine competitive rounds entering this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship — not atypical for recent years, but contradictory to what he has been saying since starting work with swing coach Sean Foley.

"Unfortunately, I just haven't been able to carry it to the golf course yet at a consistent level," he said. "I hit spurts of it where it's really good, and then I lose it for a while."

There had been talk that Woods might enter last week's Honda Classic, especially with his pending move to a 12-acre estate nearby on Jupiter Island. Previous commitments, though, nixed that.

Ditto for next week's event near Tampa, according to agent Mark Steinberg. Woods' next stop almost certainly will be the Arnold Palmer Invitational, near his Isleworth home outside Orlando.

Amateur shift: The U.S. Golf Association is changing its traditional date for the U.S. Amateur, moving it up a week to reduce an overlap with the first week of most colleges' fall semester.

Starting in 2012 at Cherry Hills, the Amateur will end on the third Sunday of August. As the competition has evolved to mostly a college-age field, more and more players were missing classes.

"Our intent is to give students a chance to compete and begin their fall class schedules on time," USGA competition chief Jeff Hall said.

Tap-ins: Reigning U.S. Amateur champ Peter Uihlein, preparing for his Masters debut, has accepted a sponsor invite to next week's Transitions Championship. … Pinehurst No. 2, named to host both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open in 2014, has reopened after a yearlong project to restore parts of the Donald Ross layout to original dimensions.

— Jeff Shain

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