Woods optimistic after final-round 66 at Doral

Tiger Woods during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

Tiger Woods during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

DORAL, Fla. – Tiger Woods shot 66 in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. When he walked off, he was tied for 12th and happier than I’ve seen him in years – so happy that he stopped to sign several autographs and even pose with two children for a photograph.

But then who could have blamed him for being blissful? There’s probably not a golfer in the world who would have been happier to shoot 66 than Woods. He has undergone a swing overhaul since last summer and has struggled mightily at times – hitting drives that traveled 122 and 188 yards in the second round.

“It’s definitely getting better, there’s no doubt,” Woods said. “I showed positive signs for the next time I play.”

Woods made seven birdies. Five were in the range of 3 1/2-6 feet, the two others from 16 feet.

Not hitting putts hard enough, Woods missed seven putts of 9 feet or less in Round 2 and eight inside 15 feet on opening day. So on Saturday he changed his putter, from his trusty Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 to a Nike Method 003 mid-mallet with grooves. He said the ball comes off the Method’s face hotter and helps him on a slower, grainy greens.

What’s more, Woods said he finally is getting to where he can make a swing fix on the fly after a poor shot.

“It feels overall really good,” he said. “My trajectory is becoming better. My shapes of my shots are getting tighter. The driver is still not quite there. I’m not quite shaping the golf ball like I want to yet. But I’m hitting it flush again, which is good, and so that’s just a matter of time before that comes around.”

He acknowledged that he feels he’s on track for the Masters and likes his chances there.

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