Tiger Woods: Excited by prospect of returning to top of world rankings
Tiger Woods is planning another period of world domination as he bids to reclaim the No 1 ranking from Rory McIlroy at Bay Hill this week.
Woods will topple McIlroy if he claims a remarkable seventh Arnold Palmer Invitational title, a position he has not occupied since his 281-week reign ended in October 2010.
The 14-time major champion, twice a winner on the PGA Tour this season, is relishing the chance to return to the world summit having fallen out of the top-50 at one point, and he plans on retaining his status for some time.
"I don't want to become as good as I once was, I want to become better," said the defending champion, whose win at Bay Hill last year was his first in a regular PGA Tour event since September 2009. "We'll see.
"It's been a long process. I was hurt for a long time and at the same time had to make swing changes that were drastically different. I fell to 50 plus for a while and to gradually work my back is something I am very proud of.
"We are still getting better, things are becoming more efficient. The two wins this year I have built some nice leads and things are starting to come around.
"I just needed to get healthy and once I was able to practice properly I could implement the swing changes and I could get back there."
Tournament host Palmer added: "Tiger looks probably as strong and as good from a golf perspective as I've ever seen him. I think his swing and his posture and his attitude is far better than it's been in some time."
But Palmer was less impressed with the absence of McIlroy for the second year running, adding: "I was kind of kidding when somebody said is he playing? And I said, well, if he doesn't, I'm going to break his arm.
"But it was meant in jest, and it was strictly a passing remark. Frankly, I thought he was going to play, and I was as surprised as a lot of people when he decided he was not going to play.
"I've had conversations, brief conversations with him some time ago, not recently, about his playing."