Woods Opponent OMalley Ailing


** Tiger Woods first-round opponent, Australias Peter OMalley, is ailing. OMalleys swing is slightly restricted with a neck and shoulder ailment. Woods, however, says it will be a tough match.
I played with Peter in New Zealand, Woods said of the New Zealand Open earlier this year. We were together the first two days. Hes been playing great down there in Australia and all over the world. Hes a great player, and hopefully I can go out there and put a little pressure on him.
Match play generally excites Tiger, though he has never won this particular tournament. The tour only plays this one tournament at match play ' plus the Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.
You just dont worry about your own game, Woods said. Youve got to worry about what your opponent is doing, the golf course, the conditions. A lot of things are going into each and every shot. Its a neat little feeling, because we dont get a chance to do that as often as we would like.
The stomach ailment that bothered Woods in San Diego is apparently recovered. Im feeling better, he said. Last week, it was nice to go home (to Orlando) and get some rest. I feel a lot stronger now, which is good. My game is coming around and starting to show signs that Im starting to hit the ball a little more crisp and clean.
** Defending champion Steve Stricker says the most important thing about last years win was just winning again. Stricker hadnt won since 1996, and being successful was a major relief.
Just fighting through all those mental struggles that you have when youre trying to win ' I think that was the biggest part, knowing I could do it again, he said. It just gave me confidence, knowing that I can do it.
** Sergio Garcia said he hasnt played as well as he did at the beginning of the year. I still can score and still can get through a round when I'm not playing my best,' he said. I didn't strike the ball as crisply as I was striking it at the beginning of the year, but it's getting there.'
** Darren Clarke is one whose game is probably better suited to match play than stroke play. Yeah, probably, he agreed. I enjoy match play. Sort of middle of the greens dont really appeal to me. That does help in match play. Youve got a little more chance of making birdies that way, I think.
** Jose Maria Olazabal didnt read Seve Ballesteros comments that Olazabal should have been chosen for the Ryder Cup team this year.
No, I didnt know that, he said. But thats his point of view. I mean, you have to respect his point of view.