PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – As he looks to add to his major haul, Tiger Woods hopes this week feels a lot more like April and a lot less like May.
Woods opted out of playing a practice round Tuesday at Pebble Beach ahead of the U.S. Open, choosing instead to rest up and conserve his energy. It’s a similar approach to the one he employed earlier this year at the Masters, one that led to him slipping into his first green jacket since 2005.
But Woods skipped practice at last month’s PGA Championship for far different reasons, sitting out the day before the opening round because of illness. He went on to miss the cut while playing alongside eventual champion Brooks Koepka, and even a month later didn’t want to expand upon exactly what transpired physically other than to say, “I was in rough shape.”
Returning to the site of his 2000 U.S. Open triumph and on the heels of a T-9 finish at the Memorial, Woods is confident that his prep for the third major is more in line with his prep for the first.
“Augusta I was right where I needed to be. I was hitting it high, I could shape it either way,” Woods said. “Bethpage, a different story. I was good going into the week, unfortunately just didn’t feel well. And this week I feel like I’m trending in the right direction.”
Woods saw the course Sunday ahead of tournament week and added a nine-hole practice round Monday, but he still plans to get another look at the famed layout before teeing it up at 5:09 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth.
“I need one more day of prep. I want to see the golf course when it’s a little bit closer to game time,” Woods said. “I know they’re holding it back, but I just want to see how much are they going to let it go and show us how it’s going to be come Thursday.”