Skip to main content

Tiger Focused on Four-Peat

SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- With no more majors to focus on, Tiger Woods laid out one simple goal Wednesday for the remainder of the 2002 campaign.
Win, he said with a laugh that implied: How many times do I have to tell you?
He can start this week in the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, where he is the three-time defending champion.

Similar to his dominance in the Memorial and Bay Hill, Woods has a death grip on the NEC trophy. But unlike the earlier-season events, this tournament has shifted from the venue where Tiger was thrice crowned.
For the first time since the 1998 PGA Championship, Sahalee Country Club plays host to the best players in the world. The par-71, 6,949-yard, tree-lined layout is replacing Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, this year, since the Senior PGA Championship was contested there in June.
The event is scheduled to return next year to the site of Tigers triple titles.
Id like to be at Firestone, but its coming back, he said. The Northwest has also been very good to me, too, from amateur golf to professional golf, and Ive always played well in the Pacific Northwest.
Woods grew up in Southern California and made a return visit after finishing runner-up in last weeks PGA in Minnesota. He didnt arrive in the Seattle area until late Tuesday night.
I feel pretty good, he said. I went home (the Los Angeles area) and chilled out, hung out with the boys and just put the clubs away and just came out today and felt real relaxed.
Tigers 6:30 AM PT tee time Wednesday marked the first time he had played the course since tying for 10th in the 98 PGA, after opening with a then-course-record 66. He played in around three hours with Orlando neighbor John Cook and good friend Mark Calcavecchia.
It was quite softer than it was in 98, he explained. We had probably two or three clubs more into the greens than we did four years ago, so it played a little bit different than what we are accustomed to seeing.
Despite the differences, Woods thinks this weeks champion will have to do better than Vijays Singhs winning 9-under total (when the course played as a par-70) in 98.
I think the winning score is going to be probably a little bit lower than it was the last time we were here because the greens are softer and the fairways are softer, so you can hit more club off the tees, and you have less of a chance of running the ball through the fairway, too, he said.
This will mark Tigers second attempt to win the same tournament four consecutive years. He tied for 22nd in his first try at the Memorial. Should he go 0-2 this week, he will have a third chance at Bay Hill, in 2003.
However, should he prevail despite the change of scenery, he would become the first player in more than 70 years to win four in a row at the same event.
Walter Hagen won the PGA Championship from 1924-27. Gene Sarazen won the Miami Open in 1926, and after the event wasnt played in 1927 due to a schedule change, again in 1928-30.
I didnt really seem to put it together (at the Memorial). But this week, at least Im playing a little better going into the tournament than I was at the Memorial. Hopefully, I can put it together this week.
Aside from his second-place showing in the seasons final major, Woods won the Buick Open two weeks ago.
Which, as we know, is once again the goal this week.
If Im playing a tournament, Im here trying to win it, he said. Its as simple as that.
PGA Tour Statistical Preview