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Tiger Woods aims to play 'better' than in his dominating days

March 10, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Tiger Woods pumps his fist after making a birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday during the third round of the Cadillac Championship.
Tiger Woods pumps his fist after making a birdie putt on the 18th hole Saturday… (Alan Diaz / Associated Press )

Tiger Woods, the former No. 1 golfer in the world, appears ready to ascend back to the top as he strolls to what looks like another victory in the Cadillac Championship at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Florida.

He had his swagger back and probably uttered the words no other golfer wants to hear Saturday after he finished off a round of 67 -- two better than Graeme McDowell, who started the third round only two shots off the lead and finds himself still in second.

When asked if he thought he could return to the form of more than a decade ago when he routed opponents and seemingly rendered golf courses defenseless, Woods replied, "I want it to be better."

Yikes. And the Master's, the year's first major, is only three weeks away at Augusta National Golf Course.

“I don't want to be as good. That was never the intent," said Woods, owner of 14 victories in major tournaments, who is looking for his 76th PGA Tour victory on Sunday.

Also in the hunt -- if that's what you want to call it -- are other big-name players, including Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker, who are five shots off the lead, as well as Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley and last week's winner, Michael Thompson, who are seven shots back.

McDowell, a former major champion himself (OK, it was once, in 2010 at the U.S. Open), was left to state the obvious after witnessing Woods' round on Saturday.

“Tiger played fantastic,” McDowell said. “He's going to be a tough guy to catch.”

That might not be the last time those words are uttered. Woods explains why.

"I'm finally healthy, and that has a lot to do with it,“ he said.


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