Woods sensing improvement

A tie for 17th in the Masters has been the sole bright spot for Woods in an otherwise dismal 2015, which has seen the 14-time major winner record three scores in the 80s in his past six tournaments.

The 39-year-old’s career-worst score of 82 in the Waste Management Phoenix Open lasted only until an 85 in the Memorial Tournament last month, which was followed by his worst ever score (80) in a US Open and highest 36-hole total (156) of his professional career at Chambers Bay.

Woods has never missed the cut in consecutive PGA Tour events but did make an early exit the last time he played The Old White TPC in 2012.

And ahead of the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia, Woods ??? who is now 220th in the world ??? said: “We’ve made a little bit of progress since the last time we played. Obviously that’s not really saying much.

“I drove it great today and made some nice progress since the Open. It’s hard to believe that I wasn’t that far at the Open but I wasn’t. I had some (minor) injuries that week that I was trying to play through.

“As interesting as that place was, if you missed a shot you could look like an absolute idiot there.”

Speaking about this week’s event, Woods added: “It’s my first time back since the last time I missed the cut here. The golf course is in great shape, the greens are a little bit faster than the last time we played.

“I expect the scores to be very low. We’re going to have to go low, we’re going to have to make a bunch of birdies, keep the pedal down and be aggressive.”

Woods will play the first two rounds alongside former Ryder Cup partner Steve Stricker and Memorial Tournament winner David Lingmerth, who defeated Justin Rose in a play-off at Muirfield Village.