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Tiger Woods puts Masters frustration behind him

Remember Bruce Banner's famous line in The Incredible Hulk? “Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.” Tiger Woods admitted Wednesday that he's the same way.

After playing a pro-am with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte, N.C., Woods said that he wasn't angry with his coach, Hank Haney, following his uneven play at the Masters last month. What people saw on the driving range was his frustration with his own play.

Woods-manning "That's complete speculation," Woods said of talk that Haney might have displeased his boss. "It has nothing to do with Henry. I didn't hit the ball the way I wanted to and I didn't make any putts. I felt like that every day. It was 17 and 18 that hurt. I didn't finish off my rounds the last couple days, and it cost me a chance to win the golf tournament."

Haney's real sin was not giving Woods space to decompress following a bad round.

"Just leave me alone, let me vent for a while and then I'll be ready to focus on what I need to do to get ready for the next day," Woods said. "It's happened before, he's seen it before, Stevie has seen it. You've got to vent. We don't get a chance to do that because we come off the green, we do media right away.

"You're constantly on, and I just need to vent for just a little bit. Give me five minutes, 10 minutes, and once that's over, it's what do we need to do to get ready to win this golf tournament the next day," Woods said.

Woods also addressed his surgically repaired left knee, which he said is pain-free though still healing. "I'm just now starting to get my pop back," he said. "I'm starting to get my speed back, and that's obviously going to take a little time. Your ACL, you try and not go into rotation. You don't want to stretch out the ligament again. It's still healing. It takes basically two years. But it's still healing, still got to watch out for that, and my muscles are now starting to come around where they're starting to become more explosive.”

Not generally known as a fan of pro-ams (he hasn't played the Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 2002), Woods sounded like he got a kick out of playing with Manning, who he's played with several times in the past. (See photos from their round here.) Probably the most insightful comment Woods made Wednesday was in response to a question about Manning's famous TV commercials. No slouch in funny television commercials himself, Woods said he couldn't pick a Manning favorite.

"His funny personality comes through because all you do is see him on the field. You see him focusing on what he does on the field leading his team all the time," Woods said. "You don't get to see the side that we see. His commercials are an outlet for him to express that."

Sound familiar?(Photo: Chuck Burton/AP)

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by Kevin Cunningham