London: World No.1 Tiger Woods has been backed by Northern Irish golf star Graeme McDowell as being ready to return to return to his winning ways with a victorious Open Championship at Muirfield, after five years of a Major drought.
According to the Mirror, Woods last lifted the Open trophy back in 2006 despite the parched fairways and greens of Royal Liverpool and is set to break that record in East Lothian, adding that he also may be a step closer to golf legend Jack Nicklaus` Major haul of 18.
Stating that the American star looks like he is close to winning a Major, McDowell said that he has been impressive so far in the tournament and will be very tough to defeat if he continued to play in the way that he has been playing, adding that it will not be surprising for him if Woods picked up the Claret Jug on Sunday night after the final.
According to the Ulsterman, Woods is going to be a dangerous opponent, adding that he is playing the course very conservatively and is using his famous `iron style` to devastate his opponents.
McDowell, who matched Woods` level-par 71 in testing conditions, also said that there might not be a better iron player than Woods in the world, adding that he has a good control over his ball flight and puts quite well.
The US Open quipped that he had lost count of how many eight, 10, 15-footers Woods has made for par over the last two days.
However, Woods admitted that he had struggled to adapt to the slower pace of the greens on Thursday morning given that he missed two three-foot par putts and also had to play against the increasing breeze, although he insisted that he does not plan to change his conservative, grinding tactics now.
According to the 14-time Major winner, he will continue to plod along, be patient and put the ball in the right spots, adding that he has been able to capitalize when he gets an opportunity and hoped to continue to do that even though he is aware that he is not going to get a lot of opportunities at Muirfield .
Since winning his last Major at the 2008 US Open on one leg, Woods has suffered personal and physical trials, although he has not let go of his old ruthlessness, even though he has managed to broke par just three times in his last 19 weekend rounds in Majors, the report added.