Tiger Woods says he's eventually going to win another major
Tiger Woods thinks a major is on tap for him and talks about how much he loves playing links golf.
It's "the big one" among those in golfing circles. That is, "will Tiger Woods ever win another major?" It's probably what we spend 25 percent (if not more) of our time talking about, thinking about and writing about.
It's a fascinating proposition because Woods is one of the two best golfers ever and we like rooting for greatness. No matter your feelings about Woods' personal life, when he's in a tournament on the back nine on a Sunday, fist pumping and shot-stinging his way to victory, that's a force that's hard to ignore.
Tiger thinks he's close to cracking the code, if you will, on major No. 15 and, after that, look out. "Even though I haven’t won a major championship in five years, I’ve been there in a bunch of them where I’ve had chances," he said on Tuesday at Muirfield. "I just need to keep putting myself there, and eventually I’ll get some."
He's right, of course. Seven of his last eight Masters have resulted in top-six finishes. That's a shot here and there. Two of his last five U.S. Opens were top-six finishes as well. And here, at the British Open, he finished T3 last year and only needed to match Ernie Els' final-round score of 68 to claim the Claret Jug. Instead, he shot 73.
A shot here and there.
“It could happen on the first day; it could happen on the last day. It’s about turning that tide and getting momentum. It’s about capitalizing on opportunities. That’s what you have to do to win majors," said Woods.
He would know better than anyone out here.
So we've established that he has been close in the recent past, really close. But what about this year? What about this course?
"It’s one of the best venues. I mean, you have to hit the ball well here. You have to be able to shape your shots. It’s no coincidence that so many Hall of Famers have won here," said Woods.
Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player are your last six winners. I don't really see somebody outside of the top 20 in the world breaking through this week.
Woods also said he thinks this year's British Open might be like this year's U.S. Open.
"It’s a bit like Merion in that respect. You have to be a good ball striker. You have to be able to shape it both ways and really control your shots. It’s not like St. Andrews or Troon, where it’s straight out and straight back. You’re playing almost in a kind of circle. You’ve got so many different angles and so many different winds. You have to be able to maneuver it both ways."
I think that sets up pretty well for Woods because it's going to take a patient player to be in the mix every day, and nobody understands patience at a major like him.
Woods went on to say that, because of the dry surfaces and fast fairways, he's probably going to hit a ton of irons and not many drivers or woods. It will be like Hoylake in 2006 in that respect -- he won there that year, you know.
And he can win again. He adores this tournament and everything it represents. He reaffirmed that on Tuesday.
"I love this championship. I just think it’s neat to play this type of golf. There are only certain places in the world where we can. Here and probably the Aussie sandbelt courses are the only places where we can play true links golf," said Woods.
"I fell in love with it 17 years ago when I first came over here. My introduction to links golf was Carnoustie at the Scottish Open and St Andrews on back-to-back weeks, and that’s about as good as it gets. It’s neat. I just absolutely love it."
I bet he'll love it even more if he's raising that svelte silver piece of hardware late on Sunday evening as the sun melts into the North Sea.
I bet we all will.
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