DUBAI, United Arab Emirates --- Tiger Woods insists his game is coming together and it's just a matter of time before he wins his first tournament in more than a year.
Appearing relaxed and upbeat at the Dubai Desert Classic, the third-ranked Woods said Wednesday his game "was progressing" and he took away positives regarding his overhauled swing from a 44th place tie in his season-opener at San Diego two weeks ago.
"I still feel I can win golf tournaments," Woods said. "I'm not that old. I figure I've got some years ahead of me.
"I don't always win. I've certainly lost a lot more tournaments than I've won. But it's the goal every week you tee up and that doesn't change," he added.
Woods' result at Torrey Pines was his worst to start a season since he turned professional. Last year, his marriage ended following a string of extramarital affairs and he lost his No. 1 ranking to Lee Westwood.
Woods said he wasn't going to return to the top soon because of the changes he has made in his swing, adding that "obviously I still have to pay attention to the short game and my techniques there, all the different shots, as well as the putting stroke."
"You try and find practice time when you can but we have had to do a lot more work on the golf swing," he said. "And I've made a complete overhaul on my swing so that takes quite a lot of time."
Woods acknowledged his struggles have been "frustrating" but that he takes some solace from the fact he has been through similar slumps before, especially from 1997-99 when he won only once.
"Certainly it was frustrating that I didn't perform the way I know I could," he said of Torrey Pines. "But ... I've been here before. It takes time. ... You don't make changes and just start winning a bunch of golf tournaments."
Woods won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008 but did not play here last year because of his personal problems.
Woods is paired with Westwood and No. 2 Martin Kaymer today and Friday, the first time the world's top three golfers are playing in a regular European Tour event in 17 years.