Tiger Woods says he doesn’t have chipping yips.
But the former world No.1 has all but written off his chances of winning this week’s US PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines for an eighth time before even teeing off.
At 56th in the world rankings he is in doubt of even qualifying for next month’s World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship, another event he has won seven times in the past.
However the 14-times major champion says the main aim is to get his game into shape in time for the Masters in April.
Woods spent much of his nine-hole pro-am at Torrey Pines on Wednesday morning practising his short game off to the side as he battles what many experts are calling “chipping yips”.
In Phoenix last Friday, Woods stumbled to an 11-over 82 to miss the cut by 12 strokes and he admitted this week was part of the process of continuing to learn his new swing pattern with his latest coach, Chris Como, as he continues his comeback from back surgery.
“My good is really good. Unfortunately my bad is really bad,” said Woods at Torrey Pines, where he also won the 2008 US Open.
“The whole idea is to make sure that I’m ready for Augusta, so I got a lot of rounds to play between now and then.
“That’s what we’re building for and if I happen to play well enough to get into Doral, then great, I got four more rounds there.
“If I don’t, then still trying to peak for Augusta.”
Woods is not a subscriber to the chipping yips theory, instead explaining the issue as being caught between two patterns.
Adding some weight to his claims, his driver is also wayward, hitting just 46 per cent of fairways in his two rounds last week.
“When I have to hit shots, or shape shots, I’m caught right dead in between (patterns), Woods said.
“They are so polar opposites, the movement patterns, that when I do half of one or half of the other, it’s pretty bad.
“I’m battling through that, battling through those times and trying to come with feel, even if I do happen to make a bad swing.
“I’m always making progress, it’s just that I just still need to stick with it and keep doing it. This is going to be a tough week.
“Chris and I are working our tails off to try to get this. I want to get this. I want to be ready come Augusta and the rest of the majors, but we still got some work to do.”
World No.8 Jason Day leads the Australian tilt with Marc Leishman, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Aaron Baddeley, Jarrod Lyle, Cameron Percy, John Senden and Cameron Smith.
Greg Chalmers sits in the first alternate spot and could also play.