HAVEN, Wis. -- Tiger Woods covered a lot of ground Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference with the media for this week's 92nd PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Among the hot topics:
Yes, his confidence is shaken after his worst 72-hole performance as a professional last week at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
"I've been through periods when I've hit it bad," said Woods. "We have all been there. But the whole idea is to keep making progress each and every day. And that's one of things I am excited about the last few days is I made some good progress, and I've got one more day tomorrow."
No, he isn't surprised he played so poorly.
"To be honest, I thought I would have been here a little bit sooner," Woods said. "But somehow I have been able to play a little bit better than I thought for a stretch, and then it finally caught up with me last week."
Yes, he worked with instructor Sean Foley on Tuesday during a practice round with two other pupils, Hunter Mahan and Sean O'Hair. Foley videotaped two holes, and Woods said he would consider working with him full-time. That said, he is no hurry to hire a swing coach.
"Certainly it's a possibility," said Woods. "No doubt. But there also is a lot of other coaches out there that's a possibility, as well. I just wanted him to take a look at it today on video and so I can take a look at it, and that's what we did."
Yes, he would accept a captain's pick [from Corey Pavin] to play on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in September, if he doesn't automatically qualify.
"I haven't seen him, and hopefully I won't be a pick," he said. "I would like to be able to play myself on to that team."
Yes, his off-course problems have affected his play.
"What's been apparent in my life right now versus when my dad died, two totally different deals," said Woods. "I really took solace in going out to the golf course after my dad passed because it brought back so many great memories of us growing up and practicing and training and competing and giving each other the needle.
"Here it's been different. Every time I come out here, it's been a little more difficult. It's been a lot more difficult. A lot of things have gone on, but in both instances it's about attaining balance and finding equilibrium, and that's something I've been trying to do."
And yes, he shaved off his goatee. "I didn't have any clippers, and I was too lazy," he said.
The top-ranked Woods, a four-time winner of the PGA Championship, isn't sure what to expect from his game this week. He will likely break tradition Wednesday and play another practice round instead of hitting balls, putting and resting.
"You try to build day-to-day," said Woods. "The practice sessions I had the last two days have been a step in the right direction. That said, I've got one more tomorrow, and hopefully everything will come right come Thursday."
Asked to describe his mindset after tying for 78th last week, Woods said, "Hurt is definitely the wrong word there. Frustrated, yes. Certainly frustrated the way I hit the ball, the way I putted. I didn't do a whole lot positively around the golf course. Unfortunately, I couldn't put together any rounds."
Woods admitted his life has been unsettled this year, and he has leaned hard on advice from his father.
"Just life in general, the last nine months has been very difficult," he said. "But just like my dad always says, just keep living. That's something that I have taken to heart quite a bit. And there were quite a few times that I definitely have said that to myself."
Becoming a better person is even more important than becoming a better golfer, Woods said.
"I feel I have to look at the positives and keep pushing myself to go forward and keep trying to get better," said Woods. "And that just doesn't mean hitting good golf balls. It's getting better all around. And that's what I'm trying to do."
What has he learned about himself?
"A lot," Woods said. "More as a person than a golfer. And I think that's a private matter on how I'm going to look at it, but as I said, I learned an awful lot, and I learned an awful lot about my true friends in life and people that I know will be in my life forever."
Woods begins first-round play on the 10th tee Thursday at 8:20 a.m. ET with Vijay Singh and Y.E. Yang. He tied for 24th in the 2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
"Obviously it's a lot warmer, but the golf course is a little slower, a little bit softer," said Woods. "A few changes but not too many. I think that it will probably play a little bit longer than in 2004 just because of how much warmer it is and the wind direction. So it will be a great test."