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Tigers magical year gone

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – NBC-TV analyst Johnny Miller says this year might have offered Tiger Woods his best chance of winning all four major championships in the same calendar year, but he suspects Woods will have lost something when he does return.

“Any advantage he had is pretty much gone now,” Miller said during a media reception Saturday night at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Woods will not play the Accenture Match Play Championship next week, the first World Golf Championship event of the season. It’s unclear if he’ll be back before the year’s first major, the Masters in April. Woods has yet to reveal when he will return.

“This was a possible magical year,” Miller said at the reception. “It could have been the year he got the [Grand] Slam.

“He’s got a lot of pressure on him, I know that. He’s really got to face the music. He’s got to face it sooner rather than later.”

The four major championships will be played with the Masters, of course, at Augusta National, the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the British Open at St. Andrews and the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

Woods has won four Masters titles, claimed the U.S. Open by a record 15 shots the last time it was played at Pebble Beach 10 years ago and won the British Opens at St. Andrews in 2000 and ’05. He tied for 24th when the PGA Championship was played at Whistling Straits in ’04.

Miller wouldn’t be surprised if Woods returns next month.

“You have to know he wants to play Bay Hill for Arnold,” Miller said. “I think there is a good chance for [the WGC-CA Championship at] Doral.”