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November 2, 2012

Woods has to climb back

SINGAPORE — On the two-year anniversary of losing his No. 1 ranking, Tiger Woods said Thursday that winning was the best way for him to get back to the top.

And that could take some time.

Four players have been No. 1 over the last two years. The current top ranking belongs to Rory McIlroy, who has widened his lead by winning the U.S. PGA Championship and consecutive tournaments during the FedEx Cup playoffs. McIlroy was runner-up last week against a strong field in Shanghai.

“Rory is playing a lot of events, and so am I, toward the beginning of the year,” Woods said in Singapore, where he staged a youth clinic on putting. “It’s about winning golf tournaments. That’s how I got to No. 1, that’s how Rory got to No. 1. You’ve got to win golf tournaments, and when you don’t, you’ve got to be consistent and finish high. I’m looking forward to that.”

Woods won three times this year on the U.S. tour, though it took time for his trademark consistency to develop. He hasn’t finished out of the top 10 since The Barclays in August, a streak of four tournaments. Woods ends his 2012 season at his World Challenge in California in the last week of November.

“Things are progressing nicely,” Woods said. “Last year I was 127th on the money list, this year I was second. So I think that’s a pretty good improvement in a year. And given that I’m healthy, I’m really looking forward to next year.”

He decided not to play the HSBC Champions this week in China, saying he was too tired to prepare properly. Woods will have played 24 tournaments this year, his most since 2005, which includes an unofficial event in Turkey and the Ryder Cup.

Woods confirmed he will not play January at the Tournament of Champions.

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