Woods calm despite ‘perfect storm’

The former world No 1 has plummeted to 266 in the rankings, ruling him out of next week’s elite WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio where he has triumphed a record eight times.

Back in PGA Tour action this week at the Quicken Loans National for the first time since he missed the cut at the Open at St Andrews, Woods knows his 2015 campaign could end earlier than usual since his miserable form means missing the four season-ending FedExCup play-off events.

“You can cover up many things when you’re chipping and putting well,” said Woods, who??carded a 75 in his second round of the 144th Open at St Andrews two weeks ago to finish on seven over, tied for 147th in a 156-strong field.

“I didn’t have it at the beginning of the year, so that process of scoring has taken a lot longer because of that. But things are starting to come together.

“It’s frustrating not being able to win golf tournaments, not really being there in contention very often, but I know how close it feels and I know I just need a couple of shots here and there and it turns the tide.”

Woods shot his worst round as a professional, an 85 at the Memorial tournament last month, and he has since missed the cut at the US Open and Open – the first time in his career he has done so at consecutive major championships.

“People don’t really realise how close it is between a person who is winning (a tournament) and a person missing the cut,” the 39-year-old added.

“I’ve had chances but I just haven’t done it. But don’t forget, I’ve come off back surgery and I’ve changed my back swing – those two together is a perfect storm.”

Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth is a player who has caught Woods’ eye with the 21-year-old Texan just missing out on winning a third consecutive major at St Andrews.

Woods, who remains confident on making ground on Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, said: “For Jordan to play St Andrews for the first time, see it under different winds and play it that well, it was very impressive.

“Unbelievable chance to win the golf tournament. He was only a couple of putts off.”

Woods is desperate to regain his form and hopes to replicate some of Spieth’s heroics in two weeks in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

“Do I want to be in that position again? Absolutely,” Woods said. “I’ve had chances to make those runs. It’s a matter of making a big putt here or there.”