Tiger says he won`t need major win for great year
Rochester, New York: Tiger Woods, who is finding a 15th major title the most difficult of his career to win, says he will not need a major triumph for this to be a great season.
Woods will try to end a five-year major win drought starting Thursday at the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill, where he shared 39th 10 years ago at a PGA in the second-worst 72-hole pro finish of his career.
The world number one has won five US PGA titles this season, including last week`s World Golf Championships tournament at Firestone, another WGC event at Doral, the Players Championship and at Torrey Pines and Bay Hill.
"I`m very pleased with where my game is at," Woods said.
Woods has 79 career US PGA titles, three shy of Sam Snead`s all-time record, but not since taking his 14th major crown at the 2008 US Open has Woods closed the gap on the all-time record 18 majors of Jack Nicklaus.
Asked if his 15th had become the toughest to win, Woods replied, "It kind of seems that way. It has been the longest spell that I`ve had since I hadn`t won a major.
"I`ve certainly had my share of chances to win. I`ve had my opportunities on the back nine of probably half of those Sundays for the last five years and just haven`t won it. But the key is to keep giving myself chances and eventually I will start getting them."
Woods, who has nine top-six finishes in the 17 majors he has played since last winning one, once judged a great season by whether or not it contained a major title. But that standard has softened a bit as Woods said this would be a great year even without lifting the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.
"It has been a great year for me so far, winning five times," Woods said. "I think winning one major championship automatically means you had a great year."
Woods settled for a share of sixth at the British Open three weeks ago at Muirfield, fighting into contention in the final round but struggling to read the speed of the greens.
That figures to be a concern for him this week as well, so much so that he devoted most of his first two practice rounds at Oak Hill to chipping and putting, taking some advice from Steve Stricker and sharing some thoughts with caddie Joey LaCava during a Monday session.
"There are quite a few subtleties," Woods said. "These little ridges and waves in the greens, a little bit of grain here and there. They are tough. They are tricky to read. I`m sure I`ll be calling Joey in on a few putts as well.
"A lot of the long putts had double breaks in them. It`s going to be important to hit a lot of greens and give yourself opportunities because these are a little bit tricky to read, there`s no doubt."
Woods said a child was nearly injured Tuesday when he went to sign some autographs and a stampede of spectators tried to get within reach of him.
"We had a little girl get crushed," Woods said. "She was just on the ground crying. People get so aggressive for autographs. You try and sign but sometimes the adults start running over the little kids up front."