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Tiger Woods Insists He’s Close To Regularly Contending

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Tiger Woods celebrates after his birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 4, 2011 in Thousand Oaks, California. Woods finished at 10 under par to beat Zach Johnson by one stroke. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods celebrates after his birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 4, 2011 in Thousand Oaks, California. Woods finished at 10 under par to beat Zach Johnson by one stroke. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Tiger Woods insists he is close to contending on a weekly basis, even if recent results suggest otherwise.

“I think I’m headed in the right direction,” Woods said at Congressional Country Club, where he was promoting the AT&T National which takes place June 28 to July 1.

“I’m going to try and continue to improve in incremental steps in every facet of my game and try to make every facet of my game more efficient.”

Woods has one PGA Tour victory this year, but his game has hit a slump recently with a missed cut in Charlotte as well as 40th-place finishes at The Masters and Players Championship.

“I’ve just played three events — I won a tournament (four) tournaments ago,” Woods said. “If I get more efficient at what I’m doing, then I’m going to win golf tournaments.”

Woods won at Congressional in 2009 before the event moved to suburban Philadelphia to make way for last year’s U.S. Open.

Injury prevented Woods from participating in Rory McIlroy’s big win.

“Unfortunately, I was in a position where I couldn’t play and it was tough because I missed out on a golf course I know, that I’ve won on and that I love,” Woods said. “Those factors made it difficult to sit back and watch. What Rory did was extraordinary. He played some beautiful golf.”

McIlroy dominated Congressional, finishing at 16 under. He is not among the early commitments for the AT&T National, but in addition to Woods, past tournament champions Nick Watney, Justin Rose and K.J. Choi will play in the $6.5 million event.

Par on Congressional’s Blue Course will be 71 and at 7,535 yards. Woods has finishes of tied for 16th (1997 U.S. Open), tied for sixth (2008 AT&T National) and the win three years ago.

“The difficulty is that it’s a big ballpark,” Woods said. “If you get to where there’s a little moisture in the fairways and (tee shots) aren’t running and aren’t chasing, this course gets really long. … It’s a fantastic tee-to-green golf course. You have to drive the ball well and once you get onto the greens, there’s a lot of pitch and movement, usually back to front.

“Playing here this year, I would like to see it difficult, there’s no doubt.”

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