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Tiger Woods says this time of year is always hard on him

May 3 is the anniversary of the death of his father, Earl Woods

Woods finished tied for 17th place at the Masters

CNN  — 

Tiger Woods says he hasn’t slept well the past few days. But while Woods is about to compete in his first tournament since the Masters, he says golf is not the reason for the restless nights.

Sunday, the day that Woods and champion skier Lindsey Vonn announced their breakup after nearly three years of dating, was also the nine-year anniversary of the death of his father, Earl Woods.

“It is tough, there’s no doubt,” Woods said Tuesday morning. “I’m not going to lie about that. It is tough. And on top of that, this time of year is really, really hard on me. This three-day window is really hard. I haven’t slept these three days, May 3 and through… today, (it) is just brutal on me. And then with obviously what happened on Sunday, it just adds to it.”

Vonn first announced their breakup on Sunday on her Facebook page, saying that they mutually decided to end the relationship. Woods also confirmed the breakup on his website later the same day. Both cited their busy schedules.

“I have great admiration, respect and love for Lindsey and I’ll always cherish our time together,” Woods said in his statement. “She has been amazing with Sam and Charlie and my entire family. Unfortunately, we lead very hectic lives and are both competing in demanding sports. It’s difficult to spend time together.”

Woods, who’s no stranger to the spotlight shining on his personal life, said he’s always had to deal with issues off the course.

“Once you’re inside the ropes, it’s time to tee it up and time to play,” Woods said. “You go out there, and for me I focus, I get into my little world, my little zone and do the best I possibly can for that – well, it used to be four hours; now it’s five-hour rounds – a five-hour time period, grind it out and win golf tournaments. Because at the end, to me, that’s what I want to do that particular week, is win a tournament.”

Woods finished tied for 17th at the Masters, in which he was coming back after a self-imposed layoff to improve his game. On Thursday, he is scheduled to begin play in the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, his first tournament since he injured one of his wrists at the Masters.

He has twice won the Players Championship but missed the event last year because of a back injury.

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