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Woods fires back at critics ahead of Players

Tiger Woods is looking to make up for his missed cut at Quail Hollow last week with a morale-boosting performance at the Players Championship Thursday.

Despite winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, Woods is suffering a mini-slump in form with his worst finish ever at Augusta, as he tied for 40th at the Masters, and struggles at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The course at TPC Sawgrass has never been a favorite, either. Yet the 36-year-old is refusing to lose his cool and put on a nonchalant face in front of the media.

"No big deal. I've been through this before," Woods told reporters in Florida.

"Actually, a lot of you guys lived it with me, went through those periods where I wasn't quite where I wanted to be.

"I had some pretty good runs after that, and this is no different. It takes a little bit of a time, and I keep building and things eventually come around to where they feel natural and efficient."

Woods was not quite so cool when confronted with recent criticisms from TV analysts, particularly piqued by Sir Nick Faldo, who suggested Woods has lost his self-belief.

"I always find it interesting since they're not in my head," said Woods.

"They must have some kind of superpower I don't know about."

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