GFC Search

 

Difficulty Awaits Tiger and Company

RSS

Tiger Woods thrives on difficult courses. He loves the tough conditions. Needless to say, hes looking forward to competing in this weeks Players Championship.
 
Hes won at Augusta, Pebble, Medinah, Valhalla, St. Andrews, Muirfield Village and Firestone.
 
Hes won in the rain, in the wind, in the heat, in the cold and even in the darkness.
 
Yet, this is one of the few events to escape his grasp ' at least, thus far. Coming off a win at last weeks Bay Hill Invitational, Woods is highly motivated to make it two in a row before heading to the Masters.
 
I feel pretty good, Woods said. This is one of the best fields in golf that is assembled throughout the year, and played on a very demanding golf course. Thats a nice combination to have, and to finish on top that week, that would be very satisfying.
 
This is Tigers fifth start on the Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass. Last year, he finished runner-up to Hal Sutton. Playing his final seven holes on Monday due to rain, Woods eagled the par-5 16th to pull within one of Sutton. But, as you may remember, the 1983 Players champion emphatically stuck his approach shot on the par-4 18th to eight feet to seal title No. 2.
 
If Wednesdays conditions were any indication ' and according to the Weather Channel, they were ' players can anticipate four days of survival.
 
The winds are up in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The temperatures are chilly. And, with the wet weather earlier in the week, the course is playing long.
 
The course is playing very, very difficult this year, said Colin Montgomerie, who has four top-10s in seven Players starts. The greens are drying out nowscoring will be very difficult. Very difficult.
 
Said 1992 champion Davis Love III: Its going to play extremely long. So you might get easier greens (if they stay damp), but youll be hitting longer clubs into them.
 
Advantage Tiger.
 
I think with the conditions the way they are, I think the person who is driving the ball the best and really controlling their irons this week is obviously the person who is probably going to win, said Woods.
 
Having ended an 0-for-8 winless streak on the Tour last week in Orlando, Woods is confident in his game. So much so, that he didnt arrive to the course until late Wednesday morning. He played a practice round with Mark OMeara and David Duval, meaning he got in only 18 holes of course preparation before he tees off at 1:00pm ET on Thursday.
 
I feel pretty good about (my game), Woods said. I had two really good days at home of nice, solid work.
 
All I was trying to do was get the feeling back like I did. I hit the ball pretty good today in the wind. Well see what happens when weve got to play.
 
Though Woods played 18 holes on Wednesday, his practice partner, Duval, only made it through three. Duval hit an errant tee shot on the par-4 4th hole and felt a twinge in his right wrist. He decided to walk off the course for precautionary measure.
 
David did not want to play that many holes to begin with, said Woods. Its cold out here, and the last thing you need to do is go out there and play when you are hurt when its cold. Thats the worst thing to do, because it gets stiff and you can do more damage.
 
Duval, who had been suffering from an ailing back, skipped last weeks tournament because of the aching wrist. He said he injured it over-practicing.
 
Duval is scheduled to tee off in the first round at 12:40pm. Currently, 45 of the top 50 players on the Official World Golf Ranking are in attendance.
 
Read a Transcript of Tiger Woods' Wednesday Press Conference

Related Articles