From Brian Keogh in Miami
Padraig Harrington has Augusta on his mind but Tiger Woods admitted that he is just as interested in tennis after being watched by world number one Roger Federer during a practice round for the $8 million CA Championship in Miami.
Woods is targeting his 13th individual victory in a World Golf Championship event and while he is the favourite to win at Doral's Blue Monster, he will be vying for the attention of the sporting public with Federer who is going for a hat-trick of wins in the Sony Ericsson Open just 15 miles down the road at Key Biscayne.
The pair have struck up a kind of mutual admiration society over the past year and occasional tennis player Woods confessed that he regards Federer as "the most dominant athlete on the planet", despite the fact that he leads the Swiss supertstar 12-10 on the major title count.
Both men arrived in south Florida in something of a slump by their own sky-high standards with Federer losing his 41-match winning streak in Indian Wells shortly before Woods crashed to a closing 76 to tie for 22nd at Bay Hill, ending his run of 13 consecutive top-10 finishes worldwide.
Like Harrington, Woods wants to peak on April 5, when the Masters tees off at Augusta National.
But he feels he has "fixed" the problems that saw him slump to his career worst back nine of 43 at Bay Hill and can contend for his third successive victory on the Blue Course at Doral against a field that features 49 of the world's top 50.
"I've definitely fixed it. But it was frustrating," said Woods of Bay Hill, where he dropped six shots in his last three holes. "I made some uncharacteristic mistakes with my club selection. If you analayse it objectively, I had three bad holes in a row at the very end.
"But the other 69 holes I made some mistakes along the way that I need to rectify. I probably should have been right next to the lead or leading if I had not made those silly mistakes."
Woods used his considerable clout to invite Federer to watch him from inside the ropes yesterday, though he joked that he might be fined by the tour as his actions were against official PGA Tour policy.
Woods said: "It's great to have him out here. I think he's a pretty wonderful supporter of golf and I think it's pretty neat when you have probably the most dominant athlete on the planet out there in your gallery.
"I don't mind paying (a fine) because he was starting to get hassled pretty good and that's not why he came out here. He came out to enjoy himself a watch me slap it around a little bit.
"What he has done over the last three years, no one's ever done. He lost at Indian Wells but, other than that, he's lost only five or six matches for each of the last three years. That's pretty good."
Harrington is coming into the event after a two-week break and while he does not want to peak to early before the Masters, he would love to contend for the title on a course where his best finish is a share of 26th place in the Ford Championship last year.
"It is playing tougher, the rough is heavier and it is definitely a good solid test," said Harrington, who goes out last with Phil Mickelson and Hideto Tanihara. "The lads are saying that the greens are firm but I found them soft because of the rain they had.
"It will be a tough week. With the Masters coming up, most people would try to get through Thursday here and judge where they are at. If they don't play well their mindset will change and they will all start thinking of Augusta.
"But if you do play well this week is big enough to hold your attention. I'd be happy to be in contention because it is certainly a very big event."
While big hitter Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson will be regarded as the main threats to Woods, many European hopes will be pinned on the recently crowned WGC Accenture Match Play champion Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
But England's Paul Casey, who is struggling shake off a heavy cold, appears to be making is excuses early after admitting that the grainy greens are the least of his worries.
The Cheltenham, who man crashed from first to 14th at Bay Hill with weekend rounds of 73 and 74, confessed that he finds the bermuda rough "baffling"
He said: "I have no idea how to play out of it. So if I can keep it out of the rough, I'll be alright."