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Tiger Woods whacks an approach shot in Wednesday's pro-am on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. ((Ian Walton/Getty Images))

Tiger Woods insists his game is coming together and it's just a matter of time before he wins his first tournament in more than a year.

Appearing relaxed and upbeat at the Dubai Desert Classic, the third-ranked Woods said Wednesday his game "was progressing" and he took away positives regarding his overhauled swing from a 44th place tie in his season opener at San Diego two weeks ago.

"I still feel I can win golf tournaments," Woods said. "I'm not that old.

"I figure I've got some years ahead of me. I don't always win.

"I've certainly lost a lot more tournaments than I've won. But it's the goal every week you tee up and that doesn't change."

Woods' result at Torrey Pines was his worst to start a season since he turned professional. Last year, his marriage ended following a string of extramarital affairs and he gave up the No. 1 ranking to Lee Westwood.

Woods said he wasn't going to return to the top soon because of the changes he has made in his swing, adding: "Obviously, I still have to pay attention to the short game and my techniques there —all the different shots — as well as the putting stroke."

"You try and find practice time when you can, but we have had to do a lot more work on the golf swing," he said. "And I've made a complete overhaul on my swing, so that takes quite a lot of time."

Woods acknowledged his struggles have been "frustrating" but that he takes some solace from the fact he has been through similar slumps before, especially from 1997-99 when he won only one tournament.

"Certainly ,it was frustrating that I didn't perform the way I know I could," he said of Torrey Pines. "But … I've been here before.

"It takes time. I went through, as I said, a two-year period where I didn't do anything and a year-and-a-half period where I didn't do anything … you don't make changes and just start winning a bunch of golf tournaments."

Woods won in Dubai in 2006 and 2008 but did not play here last year.

This week he's grouped with Westwood and No. 2 Martin Kaymer on Thursday and Friday, the first time the world's top three golfers are playing in a regular European Tour event in 17 years.