Woods Rebounds in Ireland; Faces Tough Questions from European Reporters

After opening with a 7-over 79 on Monday in a two-day celebrity event in Adare, Ireland, Tiger Woods carded a 3-under 69 Tuesday in the J.P. McManus Invitational.

Woods was coming off a disappointing finish in the AT&T National at Aronomink Golf Club near Philadelphia. He ended up tied in that tournament for 48th out of 54 pros 1-over 281.

"I felt I made some good strides last week, I drove it great last week, I just putted terrible and finished way down the board," he told reporters at Adare Manor. "Something I need to work on is my lag putting and there will be a lot of long putts at St. Andrews.

"Something I need to work on is my light-putting and there will be a lot of light, long putts at St. Andrews."

Woods said the Old Course at the "Birthplace of Golf" is among his favorites. "The first time I played it was in 1995," said Woods, who won Claret Jugs at St. Andrews in 2000 and 2005. "My introduction to links golf was Carnoustie at the Scottish Open and then St. Andrews, and I fell in love with it as the lines and angles are always different to what they say. People say hit miles left, but if you hit miles left you have no angle.

"It forces you to be more strategic in how you play. Your touch has to be great as you will have a lot of long, light putts, putts that break in three or four directions. A lot of past champions have had great short games and a great imagination and ball control. It's a fantastic golf course and what genius it took to lay it out that way.

"This is where it all started and to win at the home of golf there is a special feeling. To walk up the last hole, I've had that at other championships before but this one is different. To win at the home of golf, that would be what every champion wants to have happen."

Instead of staying in the United Kingdom in preparation for the Open Championship next week at St. Andrews, Woods is returning to his home in Orlando. Woods said he was returning to Florida later Tuesday for "personal stuff" and "to see my kids," and will return to St Andrews on Sunday or Monday.

Throughout the 15-minute press conference reporters tried to get Woods to comment on how his off-course troubles had affected his game. "There are times in one's life when things get put in perspective, one being when my father passed, and obviously what I've been going through lately," Woods said in his most expansive reply.

When asked by a different questioner, he said: "I think you are reading too deep into this."

But when asked again, Woods had had enough. "Everything's working itself out," was all he would say. Another query drew silence.

Divorce Settlement Update

According to a report by TMZ, Elin Nordegren's divorce settlement with Woods will be considerably less than the $750 million being bandied about in recent weeks.

Nordegren will be getting closer to $100 million from the world's top-ranked golfer once their divorce becomes final, according to TMZ sources. Those same sources indicate that Nordegren will also receive monthly child support for the couple's two children.