Woods determined to put 2010 behind him

Tiger Woods may not have risen to Ian Poulter's Twitter bait earlier this week, but when he makes his seasonal bow at the Farmers Insurance Open today he will be determined to put down his rivals in a fashion they might remember as familiar. "The goal's still the same – try to beat all their butts, it hasn't changed," he said yesterday.

Except everything did change for Woods in a 2010 which he will be thrilled to have consigned to the scrapbook. Off the course, his well-chronicled affairs led to a divorce and the shared custody of his two children, while between the ropes his game imploded as he recorded his first winless campaign in 14 years as a pro.

Throw in a radical swing change under the eye of a new coach, then it is little wonder there is so much interest in his first event of a season which could easily define his career. And what makes it all the more intriguing is that Woods happens to be reappearing at the course where his dominance was most stated.

Woods has won at Torrey Pines, near San Diego, the last five times he has played it. The most recent is the most memorable. At the 2008 US Open he won with a broken leg when beating Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole Monday play-off. The organisers have inevitably partnered him with Mediate again.

As guarded as he remains, Woods seemed in confident mood. "My expectations are the same," he said. "Whatever event I enter it is to win the event. You know, it's been nice to have an off-season, where I've not been in pain, or recovering from something. Yeah, I had a cortisone shot [in December] but I was fine within a week. I haven't had an off-season like this for a long time. It was nice to practise and build. I'm excited." Mediate added: "I still think he's the best player. I don't care what the rankings say."

What the rankings do say is that he now has two players above him. Not only that, but it is the first time Woods has been ranked behind someone younger than him. Martin Kaymer, the 26-year-old from Germany, leapfrogged Woods with his victory in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

That led to Poulter tweeting Woods directly during a question-and-answer session Tiger conducted on Tuesday. The Englishman called him "No 3" and urged Woods to engage in banter. Woods refused and when asked why yesterday did not look overly impressed. "Poults was just being Poults – he was obviously bored," said Woods. "I've obviously a few lines I could say about him. But I won't put it out there like he does with me."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003