Tiger Woods expects some improvement, however slight, in his game when the PGA Greenbrier Classic takes place this week even as he was romantically linked to a rival's former wife on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old 14-time Major champion, in the midst of the worst season of his career, missed the cut at last month's US Open with rounds of 80 and 76, the worst 36-hole effort of his career.
"I've made a little bit of progress. Obviously, that's not saying much," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and competing."
But Woods, the former world No. 1 who has slumped to 220th in the rankings, will have to cope with renewed interest in his love life.
The American, who shared 17th at the Masters in his only decent showing this year, was again the subject of tabloid reports on Wednesday as the National Enquirer reported that Woods and United States ski star Lindsey Vonn split up in May - after two years together - because she caught him cheating on her with Amanda Boyd, a 27-year-old who in March divorced star golfer Jason Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner.
Mark Steinberg, the agent for Woods, told Fox News in an e-mail that the report linking Woods to Boyd was "absolutely 100 per cent false" and a "complete lie and fabrication". He told the Golf Channel the story was "categorically false" and a "ridiculous rumour".
Woods had a secret sex life with more than a dozen mistresses revealed in 2009, a scandal that led to his divorce from Elin Nordegren in 2010.
He has not won a Major title since the scandal erupted, ruining his good-guy, clean-cut image, which in turn saw his endorsement deals suffer a major blow.
Speaking before the Boyd report circulated but after his practice rounds, Woods continued to back his swing changes and work with consultant Chris Como despite his ongoing struggles where even mediocrity would be an improvement.
Woods has had to make adjustments in his swing over the years to ease the load on his body, which has suffered from numerous knee, leg and back injuries over the years as he smashed tee shots well beyond rivals in his younger days.
"I know what I'm doing out here," Woods said. "I know what it feels like. I know where my game is and what progress I have or haven't made. That's what I'm concerned about."