Woods in defiant mood over Ryder Cup form as he returns to scene of past glories

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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods returned to one of his happy hunting grounds last night riding the momentum from one of the best weeks of a turbulent year into his title defence at the BMW Open.

With his divorce finalised, a spot on the US Ryder Cup squad confirmed and his game pointed in the right direction, Woods's world seemed to be slipping back into a familiar orbit at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club where he has been a winner five times.

"It's always nice to come back to a venue that I've won but also I've won it multiple times and in different ways," Woods said. "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."

Winless after 11 starts, Woods arrives at the third stop on the FedEx Cup playoff playing his best golf of the season. He finished in a tie for 12th at the Barclays and tied for 11th at the Deutsche Bank Championship – where he had three straight rounds in the 60s for the first time this year.

The good vibes continued to flow on Tuesday when the US Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin made the world No 1 a wild-card pick for the squad that will take on Europe at Celtic Manor in Wales next month.

Woods was even in a bit of playful mood when he met with the media on Wednesday, until asked about his working relationship with swing guru Sean Foley and if he was paying him. "That's none of your business," he snapped. Pressed further, Woods came as close as he has to confirming the Canadian as his new swing coach saying: "He's coaching me."

With Foley's help, Woods appears to be getting his game back on track, but three consecutive rounds in the 60s is a modest achievement for a golfer who not long ago considered winning three straight titles routine.

Still, Woods has seized on every positive as a sign of something to build on. His next target is the Tour Championship in Atlanta and he is projected to need a top-five finish at the BMW to clinch a spot in the elite 30-man field.

Woods said he is encouraged by his recent progress. "Obviously the confidence is coming up... I've put a lot of hard work into it. That's been nice to see the progress, to be able to go out there and hit the way I know I can."