Tiger Woods feeling in form as he returns to Sherwood in build-up to Masters
Tiger Woods believes he has ironed out some of the kinks that affected his game at the US Open as he builds towards his defence of the Masters on one of his happiest hunting grounds.
This year’s Zozo Championship has been relocated from its home in Japan to Sherwood Country Club in California – the venue at which Woods hosted his own Hero Challenge for over a decade.
In that time he claimed five victories and five second-placed finishes, meaning five delicious Masters Champion Dinners, as described by Betway. Having also won the title last year – a record-equalling 82nd PGA tour crown to take him level with Sam Snead – Woods is very much the man to beat this week.
That is an elevated status for a man whose best finish in four outings since the sport returned from its coronavirus shutdown is a tie for 37th and who missed the cut on the big stage at Winged Foot last month.
Woods, though, insists his form is tracking in the right direction.
“My game’s definitely better than it was at the US Open. I feel a little bit more prepared, a little bit better, and hopefully that translates into playing the golf course,” he said.
“This golf course is typical Jack (Nicklaus). Over the years, my iron game has been one of the stable parts of my game and normally Nicklaus golf courses reward good iron play. And over the course of my entire career, I’ve won on a lot of Nicklaus golf courses because of that.”
Noting the recent redesign at Sherwood, he added that it was likely to be a week of strong scores.
“The shape of the golf course hasn’t changed, but the greens have changed since the last time I played,” he said, quoted on the PGA Tour website.
“Some of the contours are gone and so it’s a bit different. The redo has made this golf course more member-friendly and I think that the scores will be awfully low this week.”
Woods, 44, has his eyes fixed on defending the Masters in November but admits an element of uncertainty in his preparations, given the rejigged calendar.
“I don’t know if I’m going to play Houston (the week before) or not. I’m not playing next week, and we’ll see how this week goes and make a decision from there,” he said.
“The fact that the Masters will be held in November, it’s unprecedented, never been done before. I can’t simulate the normal ramp-up that I normally have, and I don’t think anyone else can either.”
World number one Dustin Johnson will not be among a 78-strong field this week following a positive test for Covid-19, but Woods will be doing battle with 25 of the top 30 players.
Harry Hall opens three-stroke halfway lead at Charles Schwab Challenge
The Cornish rookie is chasing his first PGA Tour win after opening round of 62.
England’s Harry Hall takes three-shot lead in Texas with career-best outing
He picked up eight birdies without dropping a shot and managed to save par from 15 and 30 feet.
Victor Perez to defend KLM Open title in race for Ryder Cup place
Perez has moved into the automatic qualifying places for the European Ryder Cup team.
Michael Block in no rush to return to reality any time soon after US PGA heroics
Block almost stole the show from winner Brooks Koepka at Oak Hill, making a hole-in-one during the final round.
Tiger Woods withdraws from next month’s US Open
Woods pulled out of the Masters during the third round in April, saying at the time it was due to plantar fasciitis.
Brooks Koepka makes Ryder Cup statement with US PGA Championship success
LIV Golf’s Koepka moved up to second in the US Ryder cup rankings.
Rory McIlroy proud of gritty effort at US PGA Championship
The 34-year-old followed an opening 71 with three straight 69s to finish two under par, seven shots behind winner Brooks Koepka.
Club professional Michael Block relishing life-changing week at Oak Hill
The 46-year-old’s display captured the imagination of the spectators.
Fifth major is the most meaningful, says US PGA champion Brooks Koepka
Koepka held off the challenge of Viktor Hovland and Scottie Scheffler to claim a third US PGA title.
Brooks Koepka ‘at a loss for words’ at third US PGA crown
Fifth major success labelled ‘coolest thing’ after Koepka fought back from injuries and loss of form.