ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Tiger Woods says he’s starting a season healthy for the first time in at least eight years.
“It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been physically fit,” Woods said Tuesday in his first appearance at the Abu Dhabi Championship.
“So I’m looking forward to getting out there and giving it a full season, which I haven’t done in a while.”
Woods’ confidence got a boost when he ended 2011 by winning his Chevron World Challenge in December for his first title in more than two years.
He’s hoping to pick up where he left off against a tough field that includes Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy.
“I’m looking forward to this year,” Woods said. “That’s something that I have to say, because I was able to prepare and get fit enough to prepare last year and towards the end of the year. I demonstrated to myself what I can do with implementing what (coach Sean Foley) wants me to do on the golf swing.”
Woods appeared slightly agitated when the questions turned to a book written by Hank Haney, his swing coach for six years.
The book, due out in March, chronicles the time Haney began working with Woods at the Bay Hill Invitational in 2004 until they parted a month after the 2010 Masters Tournament, where Woods made his return to golf after being exposed for multiple extramarital affairs that shattered his image and led to divorce.
Woods said he was unhappy that those he had worked with, including Haney and former caddie Steve Williams, had spoken out.
“Certainly it’s something that I have to deal with. I get asked at press conferences what these guys have done, and that’s just part of it,” he said. “Am I disappointed? Yes. Frustrated? Certainly, because I have to answer the questions. … So I’ve answered them and I guess I’ll have to continue doing it. Hopefully, this will come to an end.”