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Woods is master of horses for courses

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PALM HARBOR, Florida (AP) -HORSES FOR COURSES: With his two-shot win at the Cadillac Championship, Tiger Woods now has won 40 times - or 53 percent of his PGA Tour wins - on seven courses.

Exactly what that means is a matter of interpretation.

One might suggest Woods only plays well on the golf courses he likes, which would not make him different from many other players. Phil Mickelson has won 19 of his 41 titles on the West Coast Swing. Mark O'Meara won nearly one-third of his titles at Pebble Beach.

Then again, Woods has won 27 percent of all his PGA Tour events, meaning he wins at an absurd rate, and he wins anywhere when he's playing well.

While he is a five-time winner at Muirfield Village, Woods once went five straight times without winning the Memorial. He won for the fourth time at Doral on Sunday, but he had not been in serious contention the last four times he played. Woods also is a four-time winner at Augusta National. He has not won his last seven tries.

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ZACH GOES GLOBAL: Zach Johnson will lose a distinction in May when he plays the Ballantine's Championship in South Korea. Johnson in the only American from the top 50 in the world ranking who has not played anywhere overseas except the British Open over the last two years.

And he was aware of that.

"I haven't gone overseas that much," Johnson said. "It fits in my schedule. It's a good opportunity and I want to do more of it. I don't want to be labeled as the guy who won't leave the country. For one, it's inaccurate."

Johnson has had plenty of chances, especially after his 2007 win at the Masters. His son was 3 months old when he won his first major, and he had another son in the summer of 2010 and a third child last November. The time to travel was at the end of the year when he was tired and wanted to be with his family.

"It's never really meshed with my schedule," he said. "I'm taking Charlotte (Quail Hollow) off for the first time, so I'll go to Korea."

Johnson said the one European Tour event he has always wanted to play is the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

"But it's the same week as Colonial, and I can't not play there," he said. Johnson is defending this year at Colonial, a tournament he has won twice.

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AUSSIE MASTERS: The Australian Masters typically is played on the sand belt courses of Melbourne, perhaps the finest stretch of golf courses in any city in the world. It gets even better this year by celebrating its 35th anniversary by going to the composite course at Royal Melbourne for the first time.

Royal Melbourne has hosted the Presidents Cup twice, and it formerly had the Heineken Classic, where Ernie Els won.

The Australian Masters most recently has been held at Kingston Heath and Victoria.

IMG is running the tournament, and said it was committed to bring at least three of the top 25 players in the world.

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PADRAIG'S SPECS: Padraig Harrington has been wearing glasses for the last month, and now he's wearing them on the golf course. The most peculiar part of this look is that the three-time major champion technically doesn't even need glasses.

"I've got 20/20 vision without glasses," he said. "But I have struggled for a number of years with reading the greens. What I see and what it is are not the same thing."

Harrington's eyes are too dry to wear contact lenses, so he's opted for eye glasses. He was on his fifth pair at Doral, and he's getting closer to the right frame.

The trouble for Harrington is that he grew up with a slight right-to-left bias with how he reads. After a number of laser surgeries, his bias is now left-to-right.

"I'll wear them all the time to relax my eyes," Harrington said. "Your eyes change as you get older, and certainly mine have. This is better to read the greens. Because if you can't read the greens, it leads to indecision. And indecision leads to bad putting."

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DIVOTS: The women's world ranking, which began in 2006, now has added players from the Ladies European Tour Access Series and the China LPGA Tour into its list. The addition will create more opportunities for golfers around the world to qualify for the Olympics in 2016. ... James Dodson was won the USGA's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award for "American Triumvirate: Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan and the Modern Age of Golf." Dodson also won the award in 2004 for a book on Hogan. ... Brian Gay is the only player to compete in every Tampa Bay Championship since the tournament began in 2000. His best finish is a tie for fourth in 2007.

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STAT OF HE WEEK: Lee Westwood dropped out of the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since October 2009.

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INFLATED STAT OF THE WEEK: Steve Stricker has made $1.82 million in three tournaments this year. Arnold Palmer made $1,861,857 in 734 career tournaments.

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FINAL WORD: "When a course is short, they end up having tricky pin positions. This is what we'll all be worried about at Merion. We prefer a big, solid golf course made easier rather than a short golf course made trickier." - Padraig Harrington.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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