Chonburi: Tiger Woods is optimistic his game is back on track after a miserable year on and off the greens, although talk of a return to the top of the world rankings could be a little premature.
The 14-times major winner said he was excited by changes he was making to his stuttering game but regaining top spot would not come easily unless he could recapture his winning form.
"It`s a process, in order to get to number one in the world, you have to win golf tournaments and I just didn`t do that this year," Woods told reporters after his dismal defeat in a one-day charity skins match on Monday in Chonburi, east of Bangkok.
"I just didn`t put it together this year, I didn`t play well, I had numerous opportunities to play well and I just didn`t do it. I had my chances, it was one of those years where I didn`t put it together."
If his performance on Monday was anything to go by, it could take a while.
Woods came last in the four-man contest of 18 holes, only one of which he won. Columbian Camilo Villegas finished top with $109,800 prize money, followed by Briton Paul Casey on $92,400. Thai Thongchai Jaidee was third on $90,000. Woods won USD 6,600.
Woods is still finding his feet after revelations late last year of serial philandering, which led to a chain of events that shocked fans and sponsors and caused the break-up of his marriage.
His performances have been erratic and he was knocked off the number one spot just over a week ago by Briton Lee Westwood, who admitted Woods` poor form had given his rivals the incentive to raise their games.
But the 34-year-old American said he still had an insatiable desire to win and had gone to work on the finer points of his game, hiring coach Sean Foley to help perfect his swing.
"I`m still learning this new move ... and numerous changes have evolved since then. I`m still trying to see what my misses are, what my fixes need to be and I`m doing thousands of reps until it becomes more natural," he said.
"I`m excited about the changes I`ve made in the last few months working on my game and started to see some pretty good signs. I`m looking forward to finishing these two (remaining) tournaments and getting going next year."
Woods, whose mother Kultida is Thai, said he was happy to be back playing in the Kingdom after a 10-year absence but admitted it was not just his swing that he needed to brush up on.
"I don`t speak Thai so well, I tried to learn when I was a kid," he said. "But I understood what my mom`s commands were. Do my homework, clean my room and take out the trash. I understood that much."