PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Tiger Woods finally reached No. 18 at the majors on Sunday. It just wasn't the 18 he's always wanted.
With rounds of 71-70-73-70, Woods sputtered to another disappointing major result at the PGA Championship, his 18th straight without a victory.
“Is it concerning? No,” he said after failing to break par at Oak Hill Country Club. “As I've said, I've been there in half of them. So that's about right. If you are going to be in there three-quarters or half of them with a chance to win on the back nine, you have just got to get it done.”
Indeed, Woods has finished sixth or better in exactly half of those 18 majors since his last win. That includes a T-4 at this year’s Masters Tournament and a T-6 at The Open Championship.
However, his major championship odometer has been stuck on 14 since winning the 2008 U.S. Open. When he arrives at Augusta National next April, it will have been five years and 10 months since his last major title.
“We have a long way to go to that and I have a lot of golf to play between now and then, not just the rest of our season but overseas as well and beginning of next year,” he continued. “We have got a long way to go for that.”
Woods maintained that the critical talk surrounding his recent play in majors pales to what he heard after claiming the final three of the 2000 season.
“The only time it was really hard was going into '01,” he explained. “That was really tough because I was asked basically every day and every round for eight months. ‘Is it a grand slam, not a grand slam? Are you going to try to win all four?’ Then I was a slump through that period, too. I didn't win for three tournaments or something like that. I heard it for a very long time. So that was a long wait.”
He also confided that the most difficult part of this week was failing to have a chance to contend going into the weekend.
“It's more frustrating not being in it,” Woods said. “Having a chance on the back nine on Sunday, I can live with that. It's always frustrating going out there, and I'm 3 over today, got to 7, and I'm grinding my tail off coming in just to shoot even par for the day. And I'm nowhere in it. That's tough.
“I'd much rather have it like at Augusta or at the British when I have a chance.”