GREENSBORO (AFP) - Tiger Woods will attempt to bounce back from his latest Major disappointment on Thursday (Aug 20) when he tees off at the Wyndham Championship hoping for an unlikely victory to catapult him into the Fedex Cup playoffs.
The fallen former world No. 1 missed the cut at last week's PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, the third time this year he has failed to go beyond the halfway stage at a Major tournament.
The early exit left Woods languishing at 286th in the world rankings, and means he will need a near-miraculous performance at Sedgefield Country Club here this week to force his way into the postseason picture.
A win would guarantee him a spot in the first leg of the four-tournament playoffs, although a solo second finish could be enough to elevate him into the top 125 players eligible for the postseason.
A relaxed and smiling Woods showed no sign of the gloom which has enveloped his game this year when he played a pro-am on Wednesday alongside Los Angeles Clippers NBA star Chris Paul.
Woods said the key to his performance in North Carolina this week would be greater consistency.
"I need to get more consistent with everything and start stringing together, not just holes, not just rounds, but tournaments," hesaid. "And that's why this tournament is important to me. Hopefully I can win it and get in the playoffs and start playing a bunch of golf.
"If not then I've got a big break and some overseas stuff that I've got to do later in the year. Basically if I don't win this event I'll have my off-season early."
The 14-time Major winner's participation at Wyndham - the first time he has ever played the event - was only confirmed on Monday.
Woods said he had waited to see how his weary frame had reacted to the rigors of last week's PGA disappointment.
"I wanted to see first of all how my body was going to be feeling. After grinding out and trying to play Whistling Straits, I've just been practising, seeing how everything felt, ready to go ... trying to make a push for the playoffs," the 39-year-old said.
The father-of-two revealed that active parenting had helped him return to fitness after the misery of surgery last year which left him immobilised. "Right before and after the surgery last year, I wasn't able to live life with my kids anymore. That was the hardest part.
"I was laying on the bed or on the couch and I couldn't participate in their life or do anything. My kids are very active.
"Now that I'm healthy we're playing soccer every day, I'm running every day, that's one of the reasons I'm as skinny as I am. To be able to do those type of things...that to me is what life's all about."
Woods is one of six former world No. 1 ranked players in the field, which includes England's Luke Donald, Australia's Adam Scott and Germany's Martin Kaymer.