Every champion golfer will tell you that balance is the most important part of a golf swing. Tiger Woods just said that it's the most important part of a golfer's life, too.
"I went down a path I should never have gone, now the determination is keeping my life in balance," he said during a news conference in preparation for the Farmer's Insurance Open at Torrey Pines--the site of his famous 2008 U.S. Open playoff victory over Rocco Mediate.
Woods didn't have to detail that "path." It was the well chronicled string of affairs that led to his divorce, turned him into a tabloid centerpiece and wrecked his 2010 golf season, which was winless.
He said that he has had a normal offseason for the first time in six years, one in which he was able to concetrate on his game--a revamped swing as well as his troublesome putting--rather than on the emotional rehab he did last year and the injury rehab he did in other years.
"It helps having a clear mind, it helps having your life in balance," he said.
Woods laughed when he acknowledged that the "random" computer-generated tee times amazingly, coincidentally have him in the same group as Mediate (and Anthony Kim) in the first two rounds.
Torrey Pines is special to him, no matter who his companions are. He said it's where he first saw a PGA Tour event. The Farmer's then was called the Andy Williams.
As for people who suggest he will not be the same dominant figure he used to be, Woods said, "That's fine. I've heard it before. I've gone through stretches where I haven't won. All I can do is keep working and stick to the game plan. My record kind of speaks to that."