Woods unfazed by Mickelson threat to number one ranking

PONTE VEDRA, Florida, (Reuters) – World number one  Tiger Woods, who missed the cut at last week’s Quail Hollow  Championship, said he will not be fazed if his 258-week reign at  the head of the rankings is ended by Phil Mickelson on Sunday.
U.S. Masters champion Mickelson can dethrone the 14-times  major winner if he triumphs at this week’s Players Championship  in Florida and Woods finishes outside the top five in the  tournament dubbed the ‘fifth major’.

“I’ve had it happen before,” Woods told a news conference on  Tueaday, referring to David Duval and Vijay Singh.

“The whole idea to be No. 1 and continue being No. 1, you  have to win tournaments and I haven’t done that in a while.”

“We’ve been going at it for 13 years. “It’s gone in streaks  where I’ll get him, he’ll get me and it goes in little spurts.  Right now he’s won a few and hopefully I can win a few myself.”

Woods, who recently returned to golf after a break of five  months following revelations about extra-marital affairs,  appeared subdued during his 21-minute appearance in front of the  media.

The American spoke about the difficulty of trying to reform  his behaviour while in the public eye.

“I’ve had a lot of people question my life over the last six  months. A lot has happened. I’ve had two different low moments  (during my life), what I’m going through and then my father’s  death (in 2006),” he said.

“This is more taxing away from the golf course, with  paparazzi following me and all those kind of things.

“I certainly didn’t have the distraction last time getting  ready for events. You know, helicopters don’t normally fly over  you on the range and kind of hover and film you. That wasn’t the  case then but it is now.

“I’m trying to make life adjustments. A lot of people, when  they go through treatment, they’ve able to make these  adjustments in anonymity; I’m not and that makes it a lot more  difficult.”

Woods also shrugged off a Sports Illustrated survey that  revealed that 24 percent of his fellow pros on the PGA Tour  suspect that he has used performance-enhancing substances in the  past.

“I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, never taken  HGH (human growth hormone), never taken any of that stuff, but  everyone is entitled to their opinion,” he said, not the first  time he has denied using banned substances.

Woods also denied speculation that he had axed swing  instructor Hank Haney following his poor showing at Quail  Hollow.

“I’m still working with him,” Woods said.

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