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What slump? Caddie says swing change is slowing Tiger
by Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A swing change, not marriage, has caused Tiger Woods' drop to No. 3 in world golf rankings but he's not in a slump, caddie Steve Williams said Wednesday.

Williams said Woods' marriage to Elin Nordegren, 24, had no part in his form loss this season and predicted a revival next year when he came to grips with changes to his game.

"I don't think he's in a slump. That's one word I don't like," Williams said in a television interview.

"I get asked that all the time, you know, 'what's wrong with Tiger?' Golf's a very difficult game and he's certainly not in a slump," he added.

"He's played in 18 tournaments and had 14 top 10s. Is that a slump? I don't think so."

Williams, who is vacationing in his native New Zealand, said Woods would return to his best when he had mastered changes to his technique.

"He's had a bit of a swing change this year and he's been working on making a couple of different things in his swing change, but hasn't been able to show the results yet," he said.

"The results haven't been as good this year, but I think next year, once he gets ground into the system he's trying to work on, the results will come back to what we're used to seeing."

Williams said marriage wouldn't affect Woods.

"It won't change anything. Any sportsman will tell you it's very important to find a partner who can console him and someone he can talk to after a day's work," Williams said. "It's not easy being a partner of a high-profile athlete and I'm very proud that Tiger's found someone he's compatible with."

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