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Woods patient through swing changes

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Swing change. Swing change. Swing change.

Tiger Woods appeared much more relaxed compared to his 2010 pre-tournament press conference as he discussed changes to his golf swing.  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Tiger Woods appeared much more relaxed compared to his 2010 pre-tournament press conference as he discussed changes to his golf swing.

Almost a year to the day after a much ballyhooed Masters Tournament press conference where a media ticket was required to enter the interview room, a much more relaxed Tiger Woods - and even defender of his turf - sat down for about a 20-minute media chat Tuesday. Much of the conversation focused on Woods' latest swing changes with his swing coach Sean Foley.

Also evident was a confident Woods.

"Doesn't matter," Woods shot back when asked of no longer sitting in his normal seat as Master favorite. "You still have to play the golf tournament, right? We all have an opportunity. Everyone has the same opportunity as I do and always has."

The four-time Masters champion added a simple "no" when the subject of have we seen the best of Tiger Woods came up.

"Well, I believe in myself," Woods said. "There's nothing wrong with believing in myself. God, I hope you (in the media) feel the same about yourselves. You know, that's the whole idea, is that you can always become better."

Woods' resume of 71 PGA Tour wins, including 14 majors , leaves the 35-year-old on the radar of every player and fan interested in the outcome of this Masters.

In order to make it major No. 15, Woods' swing changes under Foley will have to kick into high gear.

Since making the switch to Foley about eight months ago, Woods hasn't won a tournament. He isn't worried, saying during his career he has made three swing overhauls and patience is a necessity as you will take a step back so you can leap three or four steps forward.

And, for sure, he's not looking for past swing magic, which caused his knee problems.

"(The swing in 1997 when he won his first Masters) involved too much timing," Woods said. "My knee was killing me then. That was a very difficult swing on me physically. That's why I knew I had to change it."

Even Woods' 2000 golf swing is a memory.

"First of all, I can't swing that way," Woods said. "It took a pretty good pounding on my knee doing that way. As you know I tore cartilage and my ACL over the years, so I don't want to swing that way. It's too much change."

To the average hacker, Woods' swing was a thing a of beauty. So what's to change?

"Well, (Sean) and I have changed a lot," Woods said. "From stance, to grip, to where the club is. ... where he believes the club needs to be throughout the entire golf swing, and obviously what the body is doing. That's way different than what I used to do.

"The grip part I got pretty quickly. The posture I got pretty quickly. The other stuff has been more difficult."

Even if Woods fails to turn his new golf swing into a win this week, one thing will remain the same - Sean Foley as his coach.

"Far as being around Sean, he's a great dude," said Woods, who flashed a grin. "He really is. He knows a lot about a lot. He's very philosophical and it's always fun to pick his brain."


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