A combination of intense media coverage and emotional distress is severely affecting the game of Tiger Woods ahead of the Players Championship.

Woods has been swamped with rumours of his wife’s divorce intentions, and last week he missed the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship, allowing Phil Mickelson to further close in on the world number one spot.

The 14-time Major winner was “absolutely” certain his emotional state was affecting him, saying: “I’ve had two different low moments. Obviously what I’m going through now and then my father’s death.

“This is more taxing certainly away from the golf course with paparazzi following me,” he added.

“You know, helicopters don’t normally fly over you on the range and kind of hover and film you. That wasn’t the case then, but that’s the case now.”

Amidst all of this, the 34-year-old has had to dismiss claims of drug-use, published in the popular ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine.

Woods said: “I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, never taken HGH (human growth hormone), never taken any of that stuff.”

The 2001 Players champion will be focusing on a return to form this week after only his sixth missed cut as a professional last week.

“I don’t like missing cuts and it’s just one of those things where just a little bit of work, tighten things up a little bit and get refocused for this event.”

The 2010 Players Championship starts on May 6.

Where next?

Tour news: Players Championship betting guide
Equipment: Srixon Z-TX driver review
Competitions: Win a place in the De Vere Seniors PGA