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Tiger looks forward to Match Play, Ryder Cup leadership role

Woods said he feels his current five-event win streak has produced superior form to his six-event win streak from 1999 and 2000.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2006 10:45 IST

Tiger Woods says he is playing better than his "Tiger Slam" run in 2000 and 2001 but can still play better and is looking forward to taking a leadership role at next week's Ryder Cup.

In the latest edition of his monthly website posting unveiled Monday, Woods said he feels his current five-event win streak has produced superior form to his six-event win streak from 1999 and 2000.

"I've been on a great run the last two months and I hope it continues this week," Woods said of the World Match Play Championship at Surrey, England. "All my hard work is paying off although there's still plenty of room for improvement."

"People keep asking how this streak compares to 1999-2000. I know I'm a better player. I can hit more shots, control my trajectory and am much smarter about how I manage my game."

Woods said he has no idea what pairings US captain Tom Lehman has in mind for the Ryder Cup next week in Ireland but the world number one made it clear that he wants to play alongside Jim Furyk, who won Sunday at the Canadian Open.

"I would love to have the opportunity to tee it up with Jim Furyk. The guy is a stud and pulled out a great win at the Canadian on Sunday," Woods said.

"We teamed up well last year in the Presidents Cup and hopefully we'll get chance to do it again at The K Club."

Woods made no mention of Phil Mickelson, with whom he had memorably horrid pairings in Europe's Ryder Cup romp over the Americans two years ago.

With four rookies on the US team, Woods has gone from pupil to teacher when it comes to the tension of the team event.

"This is my fifth Ryder Cup team, so I'll take on more of a leadership role," Woods said.

"The golf course is pretty easy to learn. It's not real tricky. It's hard to see the bottom of the cups on a couple holes and there are a couple blind tee shots. We all hit the ball about the same.

"Whoever putts the best will win the Cup."

Woods said he skipped the Canadian Open to rest after three weeks of US play with three more starting this week in Europe, saying seven in a row was impossible.

"That's just too much wear and tear on my body," Woods said.

Part of Woods' relaxation was to attend the US Open men's final on Sunday to watch Swiss star Roger Federer, who shares a major sponsor and agent representation agency with Woods.

"He's an extraordinary athlete and a great champion," said Woods, who met both players in the locker room after the match.

"I can't believe how hard those guys hit the ball," Woods said.

Woods also had a message for those who suffered a personal loss in the US terrorist attacks that were five years ago Monday.

"I want to express my deepest sympathies to those who lost family and friends in the 9-11 tragedy. My thoughts are with you," Woods said.

First Published: Sep 12, 2006 10:45 IST