Tiger Woods enters key stretch in Nicklaus chase

Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has won four US PGA Tour titles this year, but he has not won a major since the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines.

Reported by: Agence France-Presse
Last updated on Friday, 02 August, 2013 09:42 IST
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Rochester, New York: Top-ranked Tiger Woods will try to end a five-year major title drought at the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill, where he has failed to flourish in the past.

Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, has won four US PGA Tour titles this year, but he has not won a major since the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines.

"I've won some tournaments in that stretch and I've been in probably about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that stretch," Woods said. "I just haven't done it yet."

Of 17 majors that Woods has played since the 2008 US Open, he has nine top-six finishes. He shared fourth three times and sixth once at the Masters, shared fourth and sixth once each at the US Open, shared third and sixth once each at the British Open and second to South Korean Yang Yong-Eun at the 2009 PGA Championship.

Woods was a lowly equal 39th the last time the PGA Championship was played at Oak Hill in 2003, with his only worse 72-hole pro showing in a major being his share of 40th at last year's Masters.

"They have made a few changes, made the golf course a little longer than when we played back in '03," Woods said. "It will be a little bit different."

Woods shared sixth last month in the British Open at Muirfield, blaming his inability to challenge in the final round on being unable to cope with slower green speeds, something he could face again at Oak Hill.

"There were so many positives, how well I hit it and how well I played," Woods said. "I'm very pleased with the way I'm playing, there's no doubt.

"I just didn't get the feel of those greens the last few days, and I didn't make the adjustments. That's my fault for not making the adjustments."

Earl Woods, Tiger's late father, said only injuries and a bad marriage could hurt his son's golf career and Tiger has endured both since his father died.

Knee and leg injuries forced him out of four majors in the past five years and his infamous sex scandal led to a divorce from Elin Nordegren, the mother of his two children, although he is now dating US ski star Lindsey Vonn.

Woods, who turns 38 in December, is set to make his 64th professional major start at Oak Hill. Nicklaus won his 15th major title in his 67th such start at age 38, then won two more at age 40 and his last at 46 at the 1986 Masters.

Woods has a key stretch of majors coming up after Oak Hill, with five of the next seven majors being played on courses where Woods has won majors before -- Augusta National for the 2014 and 2015 Masters, Valhalla for the 2014 PGA Championship and Hoylake and St. Andrews for the 2014 and 2015 British Opens.

He'd prefer to get another under his belt before those tournaments roll around, but his preparations still allowed him time for post-British Open holiday in the Bahamas with his children.

"I got away from the game and just had a whole bunch of fun with them," Woods said. "I don't have as much energy as Sam and Charlie, but I feel pretty good."

Story first published on: Friday, 02 August 2013 09:40 IST

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