Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tiger Woods kept the mood light in his media session on Tuesday at Augusta National and said that he worked from sunup to sundown on his game since we last saw him at Torrey Pines.
Will all the work translate into results is the big question? Woods said he worked his way through his chipping issues and seemed pleased with how his progress has gone.
"It was very telling that I was stuck between two release patterns," Woods said of his chipping woes on the West Coast. "That was the good part. The bad part is trying to have to solidify that and keep going down the path I was going. That was going to take some time and effort, and that's one of the reasons I decided not to compete for a while."
With Rory McIlroy going for the career grand slam this week, all the eyes won't be on Woods. And that can't be a bad thing for a player who has only played all four rounds in three of his last 10 official tournaments.
"I had to have all facets of my game come around, and they all have," Woods said when asked what would have kept him from playing this week. "We spent a lot time, a lot work on this, so it finally paid off."
What will we see from Woods this week?
The best case scenario would be him opening with say, rounds of 68 and 70. That might be asking a lot because the last three winners have averaged 9-under par.
A realistic opening would be somewhere around par after two rounds. Will that keep him in contention or even be good enough to make the cut? It should be enough to make the weekend as the cut has averaged 3.4 over par last five years.
The worst case scenario would be something like what we saw in Phoenix, where Woods was 2-over par after the first round, then ballooned to an 82 in the second round.
With a career scoring average of 70.86 at Augusta, one would think Woods could show up and shoot even-par or better for four rounds. Golf isn't that simple, especially on greens as severe as the ones he'll see this week.
"I still feel the same way. I want to win. The whole idea is to prepare to do that," Woods said when asked if something less than a win this week would be a success. "I feel like my game is finally ready to go ahead and do that again."
With those remarks, it is clear Woods feels good about his game. But we've seen and heard that from him before.
Now it is time for Woods to go out and show us that his game is back. That being said, if his game is back, does that means Woods is ready to win again or is his game just good enough to compete every week?
"Winning," Woods said with a smile when asked about his greatest motivation.
That should be every player's motivation and Woods has done a lot of it. His last win was in August 2013. His next win could be this week, and if it is, it would be huge for his psyche.
KANG'S SCARY WEEKEND
Danielle Kang had an up-and-down week at the ANA Inspiration as she was over par in the first and third rounds, and under par in the second and fourth.
She rallied with a 5-under 67 in the final round to share 26th place. That was a pretty remarkable score considering what happened on Saturday evening.
Kang was out to dinner and another two other diners began yelling at her and said they were going to kill Kang and her mother. Kang live-tweeted the confrontation, but has since removed the tweets from her timeline.
After the police arrived, Kang tweeted, "Police escorting since they shouted you played like (poor). I'll (expletive) kill you. Stupid (expletive)."
When Kang arrived at the course on Sunday, she was given a security detail to follow her around.
For her to shoot 67 after that was impressive.
Sadly for Kang, this wasn't her first brush with some overzealous people. Last year, someone broke into her hotel round and at another event, someone else tried to break in to her room.
Being able to put things like that out of her mind showed a lot maturity for the 22-year-old.
* Brittany Lincicome won the ANA Inspiration thanks to an eagle on the par-5 18th to end regulation and three pars in the playoff against Stacy Lewis. When Lincicome made that eagle, it was the first time all week she had a piece of the lead.
* J.B. Holmes continues to play some of the best golf of his career. He earned his fourth PGA Tour win on Sunday and he has three top-2 finishes in last six starts.