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Tiger Woods comments on his round with Trump

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 5/01/2017 by Steve DiMeglio
Tiger Woods comments on his round with Trump © Wilfredo Lee, AP Tiger Woods comments on his round with Trump

Donald Trump hits it long.

That was one piece of information Tiger Woods wrote about in a lengthy post on his website Thursday that touched on the past and looked forward to 2017.

“What most impressed me was how far he hits the ball at 70 years old. He takes a pretty good lash,” Woods wrote about the President-elect. The two were paired for a round Dec. 23 at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. “Our discussion topics were wide-ranging; it was fun. We both enjoyed the bantering, bickering and needling.

“ … We didn't have a match and played for fun. I was testing drivers and fairway woods, and changed some settings. I think he enjoyed seeing the difference in shots when you experiment.”

As for his own game, Woods, who has also played golf with presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said he is working hard to “sharpen” his game for 2017. He will make his debut Jan. 26 in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego, play the following week in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the Middle East, take a week off, and then play in back-to-back weeks again in the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club north of Los Angeles and the Honda Classic at PGA National in Florida.

“My goal is simple: to win,” Woods wrote.

Woods is still testing golf clubs to find the right combination to match with the new golf ball he will be using, a Bridgestone B330S. Woods put the ball into play for the first time when he played his first competitive round in more than 15 months at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December. Woods finished 15th in a field of 18 but co-led the field with 24 birdies.

“I thought what I did at the Hero World Challenge was a positive step,” he wrote. “I just need to keep building off that and eliminate the simple mistakes I made. Being away from the game that long, I made some really dumb errors I don't normally make, and it cost me. On top of that, I got a couple bad breaks and didn't recover from them.

“My good stuff was really good, which is a great sign.”

While he was limited to just one start in 2016 as he recovered from two surgeries to his back in the fall of 2015, Woods was plenty busy off the course.

He was an assistant captain as the U.S. regained the Ryder Cup. His foundation turned 20. And he revamped his business and philanthropic empire, which includes his golf design business. Woods pointed out that his first U.S. course, Bluejack National near Houston, was chosen as the No. 1 new private course in the country by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine/Sports Illustrated.

And his new Oasis Short Course, a 12-hole par-3 design at Diamante Cabo San Lucas, opened.

“I grew up playing Heartwell, a par-3 course in Long Beach, California. That's how I got introduced to golf. Golf now is almost impossible to play in less than five hours, so why don't we open things up? We can play faster and have more fun in an entertaining environment – like a short course – where everyone can participate, practice and learn the game, and kids can play without being overwhelmed by a big golf course,’ Woods wrote.

A year ago Woods didn’t know he if he could play competitively again. Soon, Woods will be taking on the kids again in professional golf, players like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama.

“I know many people doubted whether I would play competitive golf again, and to be honest, even I wasn't sure. A year ago at Hero, I was asked the question and gave a completely different answer. But after a year of working harder than I've ever worked to get back, I knew it was possible,” Woods wrote. “My love for the game never left. It's just that the body would not allow me to play. Now my body is allowing me to do it again. Combine that with the amount of support I have received from so many people, and the help I've had from players and friends, and there is great reason for optimism.”

PHOTOS: TIGER THROUGH THE YEARS

Tiger Woods of the United States hits a tee shot on the third hole during round one of the Hero World Challenge at Albany, The Bahamas on December 1, 2016 in Nassau, Bahamas. Tiger Woods through the years

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