Pros advice

Can Tiger Woods recover after worst professional round?

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Tiger Woods carded a monstrous 11-over-par second round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open - the worst of his professional career - raising huge concerns over his ability to compete at the highest level again.

The former World Number One struggled to maintain any semblance of the player that has won 14 Major titles in an illustrious career as a professional player.

It seems Woods faces a mental challenge that he must overcome before he can reach his previous playing levels.

As one of golf's biggest names and biggest marketable assets, an under-performing Tiger Woods could be deemed as bad for the sport.

“It’s golf, we all have days like this,” Woods said.

“Unfortunately, mine was in a public forum, in a public setting.”

He has fallen outside the Top 50 in the World Rankings for the first time in three years after failing to make the cut in Phoenix.

This was only the 13th time he has missed the cut as a professional.

Woods certainly will not shy away from the challenge, having made wholesale changes in response to the recent back injuries that have plagued him in the past few seasons.

His work with with swing coach Chris Como may be increasing pressure on the player with such an intense interest in his on and off-course actions.

Woods was quick to defend the change of swing: "It's mental to an extent because the physical pattern is different.

"So obviously when the physical pattern is different, the thrust is not quite there. I'm not bottoming out in the same spot.

Woods' playing partner through the opening two rounds at TPC Scottsdale round, Jordan Speith said: "From the looks of it, he looks very healthy.

"It looks like nothing was bothering him so he should be able to get out there and get a lot of practice there.

"We were talking. He was in a great mood, great spirits, just like he always is.

“Obviously a little rust for him there but like I said earlier, once you get some repetitions, you could see on the back nine today, some of those iron shots he got some height on and distance control was great."

Woods, used to setting records for the right reasons will be looking to gain some confidence in next week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club, having decided not to attend this weekend’s Super Bowl and return to Florida.

He may have to take some of his own advice “Just keep fighting, just keep grinding each and every shot" if he is to impede this slump.

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