The headline hoggers are all back
For the first time in 24 months the world’s top 50 are all together – but Tiger Woods and a few big guns still hog the headlines.
For the first time in 24 months the world’s top 50 golfers are all in the same place, but headed by Tiger Woods, six of them are hogging the limelight ahead of the WGC-Cadillac Championship which tees off at Doral’s Blue Monster course in Miami on Thursday.
Lee Westwood hopes to take back the world number one spot from Martin Kaymer on Sunday, but Luke Donald’s victory at the Accenture Match Play two weeks ago has given him the chance now to relegate Westwood to third.
Those three are paired together for the opening two rounds – as are Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and the man who also lies ahead of them at fourth in the rankings, Northern Ireland’s US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Mickelson was the winner of the title on the same course two years ago when not one player from the top 50 was missing.
If can repeat that he will move ahead of Woods in the sport’s pecking order for the first time since the week of the 1997 Masters.
But, not for the first time, it is the state of Woods’ game that has been dominating the headlines.
The 14-time Major winner, whose last tournament success was over 15 months ago, is once again talking of trying to turn practice range promise into results.
“I’m seeing some really good signs. Unfortunately I just haven’t been able to carry it to the golf course yet at a consistent level,” he said.
“I hit spurts of it where it’s really good and then I lose it for a while. And unfortunately when I lose it for a while I also don’t get up-and-down at times, so it just kind of adds to it.
“I play 36 holes at home four straight days and never miss a shot and play good rounds of golf. I’m not to that point yet. Well, I’ll get there.
“I just have to keep working on it. The process is at times tough, but a lot of times it’s pretty fun.
“That’s how you get better and you have to put in the hours.
“I think it’s part of the deal. I’ve been through it before – I’ve been through periods in my career where I have not won and I’ve struggled before.
“When you’re making change with the game and change instructors (he is now with Canadian Sean Foley) it takes a little time.”
Woods is playing only his fourth event of the year and when asked why he did not add tournaments to his schedule given the form he has been in so far he replied: “Well, because I have a family.
“I’m divorced. If you’ve been divorced with kids then you would understand.”
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