Tiger Woods agrees with most people who believe that
winning one major championship means that a golfer has had a great year.
By that definition, Woods hasn't had a great year in quite a while. He is winless in majors since the 2008 U.S. Open, a streak that stands at 17 as Woods heads into this week's PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club.
In this instance, however, Woods would like everyone to consider his 2013 body of work -- five PGA Tour victories this season, including last week's 7-stroke win in the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational. He also won five events in 2009, when he captured PGA Tour player-of-the-year honors for the 10th time.
"I think it's been a great year so far for me, winning five times," Woods said Tuesday. "You look at the tournaments I've won, a Players [Championship] and two World Golf Championships in there, that's pretty good."
So if he falls short in the final major, is it still a good year?
"Yeah, I think so," he said. "We certainly have four more big [FedEx Cup playoff] events after this. A lot of things can happen, but I'm focused on this week and trying to win this one."
Woods has been stuck on 14 major titles since defeating Rocco Mediate in the Open playoff in 2008 at Torrey Pines near San Diego. Since then, he has finished in the top six on nine occasions, including a tie for sixth in last month's British Open at Muirfield.
He also shared fourth place in the 2013 Masters, hurt by a 2-stroke penalty for an illegal drop in the second round.
"The frustrating part is . . . [I] didn't win two of the tournaments that I was right there in," he said. "One, I hit a flagstick and I was leading the [Masters] and ended up getting a penalty there. That was a tough round on Saturday, but . . . [I] shot under par and put myself there with a chance on Sunday and didn't get it done. Same thing at the Open."
Woods liked the way he hit the ball at Muirfield. He continued that fine ball-striking last week in the WGC event at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, where he putted brilliantly for a second-round score of 61 and won going away.
He wants to carry that momentum into Thursday's opening round here.
"The thing is, just keep building," he said. "I have three days to prepare and continue to work on the things that I'm working on and get a feel for this golf course and how I'm going to play it. Overall, I'm very pleased with where my game is."
He knows that this has been "the longest spell I've had" without a major win, and that he's had chances to break the spell. He wants to have another on Sunday.
"I've had -- certainly -- my share of chances to win," he said. "I've had my opportunities there on the back nine of those . . . probably half of those Sundays for the last five years where I've had a chance and just haven't won. But the key is to give myself chances and eventually I'll start getting them."
Contact Joe Juliano at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @JoeJulesInq.
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