Tiger Woods says he feels comfortable competing for tournament victories after Jack Nicklaus suggested he would have to "learn to win again".

Woods has been fighting to regain his best form after surgery on his back and has climbed from 656 to 83 in the world rankings, missing just one cut in eight starts since his return.

A second-place finish at the Valspar Championship is his best finish to date and Nicklaus, who hosts this week's Memorial Tournament, said: "We all have to learn how to win again."

Woods responded at his pre-tournament press conference, saying: "I think this understanding of what it takes to finish it off and get a W...I've been on runs where it came pretty easy, getting Ws, and other stretches where it was very difficult.

"This is a little different because I'm coming back off not really playing for a while, and I remember the feelings when I was at Valspar. I had a chance to win there, get second and it really felt comfortable.

"The last few times I had a chance I was up there on the board and I felt very comfortable."

Pro-am partner Peyton Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner, also heaped praise on Woods after their round together on Wednesday, saying he was doing well and that he understands what it is like to try and come back after surgery.

"It's about being flexible, being adaptive," Manning said. "I couldn't throw the ball the same way after my injury. But you learn to use your experience and football intellect.

"Obviously, that's what he's doing. He's adjusted his game, his swing, using his experience and using other parts of his body to get some strength and power.

"Like I said, for a golf fan, it's great to see him back out here - and he sure is hitting the ball well today."