Singapore: American golf star Phil Mickelson on Sunday said it was "inevitable" that Tiger Woods would get back to his best after the troubled ex-number one came close to breaking his two-year title drought.
Mickelson, who finished tied 33rd at the Barclays Singapore Open, said he had seen first-hand that the 14-time major champion's game was coming back together.
Woods, whose ranking slumped to 58, was a second-round leader at the Australian Open in Sydney and he carded five-under-par 67 on the last day to finish two shots back from winner Greg Chalmers.
"I've played with him a couple of times throughout the year, watched him hit it and you can tell that his swing speed has come back," Mickelson said in Singapore.
"So I don't know when it will all click and he'll be back to his normal self but I feel like it's inevitable that he will get back there because he seems to keep getting better and better."
Mickelson, a four-time major-winner who will next year be inducted into golf's Hall of Fame, will join Woods in Melbourne for this week's Presidents Cup team event where the United States will take on the Internationals.
The world number 11 did not know if he would be paired with Woods but he said he felt ready to help the Americans claim a fourth consecutive title after returning to action after a six-week break.
"I played well today. I didn't score as well as I probably played," he said.
Woods was also encouraged by his showing in Sydney, in which he showed glimpses of his old form and threatened to win for the first time since the 2009 Australian Masters.
"I had the lead at Augusta (Masters) on the Sunday, that's the last time I've been in that spot, so it's been a long time," Woods said in Sydney.
"Unfortunately, I haven't played a lot of tournaments in between, but it was great to be out there and I had a chance. I didn't post the number I needed."
Woods' 2009 win in Melbourne was followed shortly afterwards by a major sex scandal which cost him his marriage along with key sponsors, and prompted him to take a lengthy break from the game.
He has since been troubled by a spate of injuries but now says he is starting to enjoy golf again after a strict training regime helped him regain his famous club-head speed and distance.