Rory McIlroy believes he is close to rediscovering something like his best form after seeing off Tiger Woods in an exhibition match in China.
For the second year running McIlroy defeated the American by a single stroke in an 18-hole contest on Chinese soil, with the Mission Hills GC in Haikou hosting this year's event.
The Northern Irishman has struggled this season after his high-profile equipment switch but, with a number of big events to play in the weeks ahead, believes he could still finish the year with a bang.
Speaking after his win over Woods, he told reporters: "I would like to play all my tournaments in China where I can beat Tiger!
"I've seen a lot of promising signs over the past few weeks in practice and also in competitive play.
"I still have four tournaments left until the end of the season and I would love to finish 2013 strongly and get a little bit of momentum going into next season. But I think as I showed out there, I'm hitting the ball well.
Woods under the weather
"If I can just get the putter going a little bit more, then in these last four tournaments I can hope to contend and maybe pick up a win or two."
McIlroy will hope to demonstrate his improving form in this week's HBSC Champions event in Shanghai which gets underway on Thursday.
Woods has opted to skip that World Golf Championships event and will next tee it up competitively at the Turkish Open in Antalya in two weeks' time.
The World No.1 complained of feeling unwell with a cold picked up from his children throughout the match with McIlroy, but said he had still enjoyed the experience.
"I don't sound all that well now, but it was nice that it was warm out there today," Woods said. "That certainly helped because I think my fever broke and I can start feeling a bit better.
"But I tell you what, when you have kids, they bring home some strong bugs, and this one has definitely been kicking my butt for the last couple of days."
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