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Woods arrives at Liverpool, confidence 'growing'

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Tiger Woods may not be playing this week at the Scottish Open, but he's doing plenty of prep ahead of next week's Open Championship.

Woods played a 12-hole practice round Saturday at Royal Liverpool with Patrick Reed. Woods said after his round that he's feeling good heading into his second event since early-season back surgery.

"I'm not favoring anything," Woods said. "The little baby steps worked. We were very diligent about what I was doing. Going into it we pushed it pretty hard to get my abs and glutes strong so when I did come back I was able to rebound fast. I can do whatever I want. I'm at that point now. We didn't think we'd get to that point until this tournament or the week after."

Woods, who won the Open the last time it was held at Hoylake in 2006, is seeking his 15th major title when the season's third major starts on Thursday.

Because of his back surgery, Woods has yet to tee it up in a major in 2014. He returned from surgery two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National and missed the cut.

But Woods said that start was key to getting his game back in shape for a run at the claret jug.

"Congressional was big for me," Woods said. "The fact I could go out there and play and I got better as the days went on. It was a little bit eerie and iffy if that was going to happen or not, especially with how hard I was hitting the ball.

"But I've got my speed back, which is nice, and I'm starting to hit the ball out there again. I'm only going to get stronger. As the weeks go on, I'm getting strong and faster."

When asked to describe his confidence, Woods told USA Today it was "growing."

The three-time Open champion hasn't won a major since 2008, but he's had a good record at the Open the last two years. He tied for third in 2012 and finished T-6 last year at Muirfield.