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Presidents Cup 2011: Tigers Woods Showing Signs of Recovery at Royal Melbourne

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterNovember 19, 2011

"I am Tiger, hear me roar!!!"
"I am Tiger, hear me roar!!!"Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

The long climb back to respectability in, much less the top of, the golf world has been slow and anything but steady for Tiger Woods, though after seeing him on the course at Royal Melbourne on Saturday of the 2011 Presidents Cup, there's reason to believe he may finally have found something to seize on.

Aside from picking up his first point of the weekend on Friday, Woods managed to hit 17-of-18 greens in regulation on Saturday while playing alongside Dustin Johnson and against Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim, despite cooling temperatures and falling rain.

Not to mention greens that have proven to be about as kind as the treacherous waters surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. Woods' improvement on the drive comes on the heels of an encouraging performance at the Australian Open, during which he showed flashes of his former brilliance but finished third after an uneven performance on the back nine on Sunday.

But while Woods took two significant steps forward off the tee at the Presidents Cup, he wasted little time backtracking in the putting game and, as such, costing him and Johnson in their four-ball matchup with their Korean adversaries. Woods and Johnson just couldn't seem to find the proper distance to the pin from close range which, at least for Woods, rekindled concerns about the superstar's composure under pressure.

He'll be back under the microscope amidst singles matches on Sunday, though hardly with the overall pressure to perform for his team. The Americans enter the final day of play with a 13-9 lead, and thus, need only four-and-a-half points from the 12 pairings to clinch their fourth Presidents Cup in as many competitions dating back to 2005. As such, the Yanks likely won't need Woods to contribute to the cause to bring home the hardware from Victoria.

For Woods, though, Sunday presents an excellent opportunity to prove to himself that he's back, or somewhere closer to it. He'll be paired with native Aussie Aaron Baddeley in the next-to-last match of the event. That pressure alone, of playing against a home favorite, should be more than enough to get Tiger's competitive juices flowing just like old times.

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Now, if only he could apply some of that intensity to his focus in the putting game, he may yet take that next step in that oh-so-public Hokey-Pokey of his and turn his failing career back around.

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