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Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tournament

Tiger: 'It's been a long year'

By Marla Published: August 4, 2010

Audio from the Tiger Woods press conference:
[audio:http://www.ohiomm.com/photos/tiger.mp3]

Seven-time Bridgestone Invitational champion Tiger Woods arrived at Firestone Country Club Wednesday still seeking his first victory of 2010.

Showing up at the media center wearing a goatee, Woods said his putting continues to bedevil him. He believes that's due to a lack of time to practice because of commitments with his two children.

''I haven't had as much time to practice overall with the kids. Life has changed,'' Woods said. ''I haven't practiced as much as I used to, nor should I. My kids are more important.''

Woods said he will have to be ''more efficient with what I do and when I do it.''

The PGA Championship, the final major of the year, is coming up next week  at Whistling Straits. Woods said it ''seems like a long time ago'' when he began the year at the Masters after stories of his marital infidelity surfaced following a Thanksgiving night car accident he became a tabloid target.

''It's been a long year. It's been a long 10 months,'' he said.

Woods currently stands ninth on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, with qualifying for the top eight spots continuing through the PGA.

He trails No. 8 Dustin Johnson by 163 points and No. 7 Matt Kuchar by 165. This week's first-place prize is $1.53 million; next week at the PGA it is $1.35 million. The top eight spots are determined by money earnings, with one point obtained for every thousand dollars earned in the Bridgestone and two points for every thousand in the PGA.

There have been some concerns about whether Woods would be interested in playing in the competition against the Europeans in Wales in late September if he fails to qualify and is a captain's pick. U.S. captain Corey Pavin had reportedly planned to discuss it with him next week.

Woods quickly dispelled the notion that he'd rather stay home.

''I'm planning on playing my way onto the team,'' Woods said. It was perhaps his most forceful answer of a somewhat subdued session.

Woods won at Firestone from 1999-2001 and from 2005-2009 and has never finished worse than tied for fifth (that in his first appearance in 1998). But he doesn't believe he'll get a true read on the state of his game from how he plays on the South Course.

''No, you just go out there and play,'' he said. ''If I looked at it like that, then most tournaments I don't think I've had the success I've had.''

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