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September 28, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tiger has his strength, explosiveness back

At a news conference on Tuesday where he was announced as a Presidents Cup captain's pick, Tiger Woods said he’s practicing regularly and his strength and explosiveness have returned to his golf swing. 

We're practicing very hard up at Medalist, and I'm playing as much as I possibly can, something that I hadn't not done all summer, because I hadn't been cleared to do it. Now I have the clearance to do that. My training sessions are great. Strength has come back. My explosiveness has come back through my training, and now just trying to get my feels back, and it feels great.

Sean has come down a few times, and we've worked, and we had wonderful sessions. And really looking forward to playing next week at the Fry's, and after that, I'm playing at the Aussie Open in Sydney, and really looking forward to getting my game rounded for The Presidents Cup.

Woods also said he is looking forward to playing again. Woods missed the cut at the PGA Championship in August and failed to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. Next week’s Frys.com Open in Northern California will be his first event since the PGA.

I am looking to get out there and compete, no doubt. That's something that I have pretty much -- and I played two events, but didn't play very well in those few events at Akron and the PGA. Really excited to get back out there and compete, and knowing that I'm finally healthy enough to do it now, and I've practiced, something I had not done in preparation for Akron and the PGA. But now that I've actually practiced, I've gotten even stronger in my lifting sessions, so things it are definitely shaping up quickly.

 I'm playing in two stroke-play events prior to that to get myself ready for The Presidents Cup, and granted, it is match play, and you know, we as Presidents Cuppers, we play every day, which is very different than The Ryder Cup. Every player must play every day. So knowing that going down there, we are going to be basically playing all four matches, it's fun. It's something I'm looking forward to it, and hopefully Stricks is healthy enough and Mr. Couples will be nice enough to put us together again, something I'm looking toward to and hope that will happen.

If Woods doesn’t enjoy the Frys.com Open, Justin Timberlake said he’d love to have Woods in the field at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas next year, according to The Las Vegas Sun

When Timberlake first started working with the event four years ago, he tried using his celebrity to contact several top golfers for commitments to play with aspirations of enhancing the event.

“I reached to a lot of golfers,” he said. “You know, you want the field to be as big and bad as possible.”

But with Woods, Timberlake said he didn’t want to bother the world’s most sought-after golfer during his rehabilitation.

“I was just trying to be respectful of that,” Timberlake said. “For someone that’s dealing with an injury I don’t want to make them feel terrible because they can’t make it.”

Keegan Bradley disappointed about not making Presidents Cup team  

PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley is a thoroughly 21st century athlete so he responded to news that he didn’t get a Presidents Cup pick on Twitter.

Bradley

Bradley should still make sure his passport is in good standing. U.S. Captain Fred Couples said that if Steve Stricker can’t play due to injury (he has a herniated disk) then Bradley will take his spot.

Rory McIlroy’s next goal: Learn to win with his B-game

Ian Chadband of The Telegraph (UK) checks in with Rory McIlroy after his star-making 2011 season and learns that McIlroy is now focused on turning his good days into great ones.

“When I’m 100 per cent, I won the US Open by eight shots, was six shots ahead in the final round in Dubai and, after being on the cut line, shot 16 under at the weekend to win Quail Hollow by four. So when you’re on, you kind of feel untouchable. I'd take it if this happened to me four or five times a year.

“But it’s being able to win when you’re not playing your best; that’s the secret I want to find. Turning those second, third and fourth placed finishes, when I’m not playing my best, into wins is basically what I’m trying to do now.

“On the course, in my mind I think I’ve changed a little bit too. Everyone says ‘let it happen, don’t force it’ but I don’t think that’s the right way to go for me. I’ve got to say to myself ‘look, I’m good enough, I’m going to make this happen and win’ instead of shrugging ‘oh, we’ll just go out and see what happens’. I’m getting a little bit more ruthless and maybe there’s a bit more self-belief too.”

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