Woods remains optimistic

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MIAMI, March 10- Tiger Woods still believes that a return to his best form is just around the corner.

Without a win in 16 months, Woods has endured his share of criticism, but the former world number one insists he remains on the right track.

"I’m seeing some really good signs," the world number five said on Wednesday, on the eve of the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral.

"Unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to carry it to the golf course yet at a consistent level.

"I hit spurts where I’m really good and then lose it for a while. I just have to keep working on it and the process is at times tough. I’ll get there, but I’m just not to that point yet."

Woods’ last victory was at the Australian Masters in November of 2009. Shortly after that victory, his personal life fell apart amid revelations of multiple affairs and he has played just three tournaments this year.

He finished equal 44th at the PGA Tour stop at Torrey Pines, followed by a tie for 20th at the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic, where he was in contention until he shot a closing 75.

Woods then lost in the first round at the World Golf Championships Match Play event in Arizona two weeks ago.

As Woods spoke about needing to get more tournaments under his belt, he was asked why does he not play more often.

"Because I have a family," he said. "I’m divorced. If you’ve been divorced with kids, you would understand."

Left unsaid was that Woods has never played more than a sparse schedule since turning professional in 1996.

If Woods’ comments on Wednesday were somewhat predictable, the same cannot be said of his current instructor, Sean Foley, and his previous coach, Hank Haney.

In an interview with Canadagolf, Foley took aim at the critics who have been questioning Woods’ swing changes.

"So he’s struggling when he’s in the hunt," Foley said. "And they say, ‘How does Tiger Woods struggle when he’s in the hunt? Look at what he did for so long?’

"New days. New times," Foley said. "You’re absolutely probably an invalid if you don’t think what he went through hasn’t affected his belief system."

Haney subsequently weighed in, via Twitter, where he wrote: "Maybe Foley should stop talking until Tiger wins 6 more majors under him!"

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