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Later, he was asked about his ex-wife’s comments in the magazine interview.

“I wish her the best in everything,” Woods said. “You know, it’s a sad time in our lives. And we’re looking forward in our lives and how we can help our kids the best way we possibly can. And that’s the most important thing.”

The focus now shifts to his golf, and Woods indicated as much by saying, “This is my job. This is what I do.”

Gone are the days when practice and even some tournament rounds ended with a phone call from lawyers, or a divorce document that had to be approved. Among the more telling details from divorce papers made public were that he signed the marital settlement agreement on the weekend of the AT&T National outside Philadelphia.

Woods handled questions about his golf swing and his divorce in equal fashion, but on one question he was succinct. He was asked to describe how the divorce process had affected his preparations for golf.

“It was a lot more difficult than I was letting on,” said.

Hard work remains. In the first year of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Woods didn’t even bother playing in The Barclays. That was in 2007, when he was playing so well that he could spot the field one tournament and still win the $10 million prize, and he did just that.

He also missed in 2008, this time with knee surgery, when the tournament was played at Ridgewood. It’s a Tillinghast course, traditional and tree-lined, and Woods had never seen it until his pro-am round Wednesday.

He seemed to hit the ball well enough and was pleased with the shape of some of his shots. The trouble for him all year, however, has been taking the same game from practice to a real round. That’s what awaits on Thursday.