Tiger Tees Off at Cog

Tiger tees off at 1:10 p.m.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Golf pro, in Chicago for the BMW Championship, says his game is headed in the right direction. (Published Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010)

    Fresh of an incredibly expensive divorce, golf superstar Tiger Woods looks to continue his resurgence this weekend.  

    He's doing it in a place he feels comfortable: Lemont, Illinois. Woods owns five victories at the Cog Hill course.

    "This is one of them where I've won in different ways, and it's always nice to come back to a venue that, yeah, I've won, but I've won it multiple times and different ways," Woods said Wednesday at the BMW Championship. "I can always kind of go back to that no matter how I'm playing. I can still figure out a way to get it done, because I've done it different ways."

    With his personal life settled down, Woods has had time to work on the mess that his swing had become. It's only been a few weeks since he was first spotted with Canadian-born swing coach Sean Foley at the PGA Championship, but already he can see results.

    He opened The Barclays with a season-best 65. At last week's Deutsche Bank Championship, Woods had three rounds in the 60s for the first time this year.

    "The shots that I'm hitting now, it's been a long time since I've been able to do that," he said. "That's always a good sign."

    Woods was well aware his game was in disarray for much of this year. How could it not be? His marriage was crumbling after revelations of numerous infidelities, and golf was often the last thing on his mind. Always meticulous about practice and preparation, it didn't take long for the turmoil in his personal life to spill over into his game.

    Forget matching Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors, as many had expected he'd do this summer. Making the cut was often milestone enough. He tied for 23rd at St. Andrews, where he's won two British Opens. He had the worst tournament of his career — at Firestone, of all places — finishing ahead of only one player at 18 over.

    Instead of seeking out a coach, Woods tried to patch together whatever fixes he could with a video camera and his memory.

    "Let's just say I've been through a lot lately, and I didn't want to have any more information," he said. "I was trying to get adjusted to my new life and what that entailed, and it was enough as it was. I didn't have time to work on my game. ... If I had to choose another coach, I didn't have time to commit to that. Nor did I want to at that time."

    Though he stopped short of saying he would revamp his swing like he did with Butch Harmon and Hank Haney — or even if he's working full-time with Foley — Woods is pleased with the feedback he's gotten from Foley so far.

    Foley walked with Woods for the first five holes of Wednesday's pro-am, occasionally pulling out his camera to shoot Woods' swing. The two peered through the camera after Woods teed off on the sixth hole, and both seemed happy as Foley strolled away.

    "I understand what he's trying to teach, so that's the biggest thing," Woods said. "And then when you're out on the golf course playing, it's understanding how to fix it. That's the hardest part."

    If Woods has his game back under control, it could make for a very interesting week.