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Woods says desire still strong and describes 2018 as 'incredible'

Woods says desire still strong and describes 2018 as 'incredible'
FILE PHOTO: Nov 23, 2018; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tiger Woods reacts to his putt on on the 14th green during The Match: Tiger vs Phil golf match at Shadow Creek Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo   -   Copyright  USA Today Sports(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – The 2018 season had been “incredible”, Tiger Woods said on Sunday after completing his final round of the year.

Speaking at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, Woods said his desire was as strong as ever but acknowledged that his middle-aged and much-operated-on body was not able to do all the things his younger self could.

“The desire hasn’t changed. It’s just the body is sometimes unwilling to respond to what the mind wants,” the 14-times major champion told Golf Channel.

“That’s just part of the injuries I’ve had and the ageing process and trying to deal with that and compete.”

It was at the World Challenge 12 months ago that Woods returned to competition, more than seven months after having two discs in his lower spine fused.

Nobody knew at the time how his back would hold up to the rigours of a full schedule but it came through better than even he expected.

Woods contended several times, including at the British Open and PGA Championship majors, before he ended a five-year victory drought by winning the Tour Championship in September.

“It was an incredible year, to go from where I was at this point last year to where I am now,” he said.

“I’m so blessed and so thankful to have the opportunity to have everything turn my way.”

Woods finished second-last in the 18-man field at the World Challenge, an unofficial event he hosts at Albany on the island of New Providence.

He said he had been feeling under the weather for much of the week.

“Hosting the event and trying to play well, I haven’t done a very good job of playing well but it was nice to finish off on that back nine and actually do something positive,” he said after picking up four birdies over the final nine holes.

Though his playing is done for the year, Woods cannot relax just yet.

He is scheduled to leave later on Sunday for Australia for promotional obligations for next December’s Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Clare Fallon)

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