Tiger Woods should expect more woe
It’s another Major so it’s come as no surprise to hear Tiger Woods talk up his chances of winning his first ‘big four’ title in more than four years.
“I am always just trying to keep building toward the Majors and hopefully the game will peak at that right time.,” the world No. 3 said earlier this week. “I have come close a couple of times this year. I had the lead at the US Open for a couple of days. In the Open I was right there, so it’s about having everything come together at the right time.
“When I get that timing right - and I’ve done it a few times over my career - hopefully this week will be another one of those times.”
Since he started winning titles again the big cat has had no problem in pretending he’s still the main man, still the great golfer everyone fears. And considering he’s won 14 Majors, who can really blame him.
However, what Woods hasn’t quite appreciated is that the golfing landscape he left before his personal problems forced his temporary exit from the fairways in 2009 has changed forever. The 16 consecutive different Major winners is testament to that.
The depth of talent now is such that while Woods has found some form, anyone backing him for glory at Kiawah Island come Sunday could reasonably be accused of being slightly weird, and that’s not taking into account his faltering form from within 150 yards of the green.
The fact is that any number of golfers will tee it up at the Ocean Course today thinking they’ve got a great chance of victory. All talk of ‘peaking’ in time for Majors, and planning your whole year around the big tournaments now seems very strange.
Which of Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and defending US PGA champion Keegan Bradley structured their entire year around the ‘big four’? None of them did. They simply turned up and played good golf.
And the nature of Kiawah Island points to another ‘shock’ winner this weekend.
Nestled on the South Carolina coast the course, which will be the longest in Major history at 7,676 yards, will be subject to the sort of strong winds present on any Links course. And that means Tiger and Co will encounter many card-wreckers.
When the world was introduced to the track at the 1991 Ryder Cup the par-three 17th was attacked with pitching wedges and nine-irons during practice. Come the singles the players were using as much as a 3-wood to reach the green. Seve Ballesteros even won one hole with a triple-bogey seven.
So while Tiger’s talking a good game expect an entertaining championship and don’t be surprised if another ‘shock’ winner emerges from the pack to claim the Wanamaker Trophy.