Woods finished his season with five straight finishes in the top 10, his longest streak since the spring of 2009, though he didn't win. He planned to put the golf clubs away until after Christmas, except for messing around with his son, Charlie.
The list of improvements is a lot shorter than it was at this time a year ago.
"It's not a laundry list like it was the last couple years," Woods said. "I've already made the big changes. They're already in. It's the little tweaks here and there."
But the question remains:
If Woods and McIlroy face each other down the stretch, where is your money? That used to be easy to answer no matter who was challenging Woods.
It's a question U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson wasn't willing to tackle.
"I'm not going to pick because obviously you've got the greatest player of all time versus the guy who's playing better than anybody in our sport," Simpson said. "What Rory has done this year is remarkable. ... But again, to choose a player over Tiger would be tough given what he's done."
Perhaps a clearer answer will be revealed in 2013. Woods and McIlroy both start the new season Jan. 17 in Abu Dhabi.
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