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At the Masters, the very presence of Tiger Woods was enough to provide the golfing world with relief and renewed passion, despite the performances he was going to give us. This week at the PGA Championship, Woods appears to be getting more and more into a performance-oriented frame of mind.
“My God, yes! »
Those are the words Woods spoke earlier this week when asked if his right leg had gained strength since he was last at Augusta. He has shown that he is still capable of making little gems in Augusta and will look to prove in Southern Hills that he can be dangerous, with a visibly more powerful physique and restful sleep. Will he be enough to aim for the top of the standings on Sunday? Probably not, but if there’s one thing Woods has always shown, it’s never rule him out.
And as if fate had a say in the matter, the last PGA Championship played at Southern Hills Country Club was won by Woods 15 years ago. Simple coincidence or harbinger of what the future holds? Woods will soon be able to offer us the answer.
“I think I can win, no question,” Tiger said.
That said, the face of the course has changed a lot since Tiger’s crowning in 2007. While some holes have been lengthened, several trees removed and tall grass shortened, primarily we’ll see a slightly more forgiving course off the tee. . shots – and in any case loaded with consequences at times – but much more complex and capricious around the greens, adorned with their holes and streams.
And proof that Woods is serious about his pursuit of excellence, his preparation began three weeks ago. In late April, Tiger traveled to Tulsa to learn about his next playground and all the new idiosyncrasies he will face.
One of the elements of Woods’ success is undoubtedly the timing of his first two rounds. He will start at 9:11am on Thursday, then 2:36pm on Friday, giving him a little over 24 hours between the end of his opening round and the start of his second round. This extended period of rest will allow Woods to post much higher performance standards on Friday thanks to better rest for his leg, and give him more energy if he participates in the weekend rounds.
Seeking a fifth PGA Championship title, one of Woods’ biggest commands will be to improve his efficiency on the greens. After a solid first round performance at Augusta, Woods’ short wicket possession deteriorated very quickly. The accumulation of putts was felt and Woods missed nearly five shots in the third round on the greens alone, an untenable outing for any golfer looking for a win.
“At Augusta, I knew how to play the course. It hurt me, but I kept playing despite everything. It was more mental than physical, I have already won with a broken leg. I knew that if I I was putting well, anything can happen. Unfortunately, on Saturday I probably three-putted 15 times,” Woods laughed Tuesday. The American knows very well that he will have to limit this type of action on greens that promise to be fast.
To give himself the best chance of victory and success, Woods may have to take inspiration from his victory in 2000. Of all his victories in the tournament, this is the only edition in which his two best scores have come in the first and second rounds. . Exception aside, he often had slower starts, punctuated by a good stretch finish to secure his final round victories.
After the Masters, Woods never hid it: his health was not the best between the first and fourth rounds and his scorecards showed it. More than ever, Woods will have to take advantage of every little opportunity that comes his way quickly in the tournament.
Therefore, alongside Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, Woods will play the first two rounds of the tournament on Thursday and Friday. One of the greatest in history, if not the greatest, another player looking to complete his Grand Slam, and ultimately a two-time PGA Championship winner.
I don’t need to tell you what it promises!
#stars #align #Tiger