Tiger Woods ranks Winged Foot as one of the most difficult courses ever

Tiger Woods is under no illusions as to the challenges facing the field when the US Open tees off at Winged Foot on Thursday.

The West Course of the New York icon is warming up to break some hearts this week. Narrow fairways, unforgivable rough, monster par 3s and Rubik’s cube greens are sure to leave much of the field with plenty high numbers on their scorecards.

In fact, a glance in the history books reveals that there is just one winning score under par in the five occasions the West Course has hosted the US Open. That was Fuzzy Zoeller with four under in 1984. More recently, Geoff Ogilvy’s five over par was enough to enter him into a playoff where he picked up his maiden major in 2006.

And this time around, the course is over 200 yards longer.

“It’s right up there next to Oakmont and Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even having to do anything to it,” said Woods.

“Those three golf course, they can host major championships without ever doing anything to them. [Winged Foot] or Oakmont is either one or two.”

Woods knows he’ll have to make vast improvements to his game if he is to take another step towards catching Jack Nicklaus in the major championship race.

The 15-time major winner has only teed off six times this year competitively and boasts just one top ten finish. Talking about his game, Woods spoke matter-of-factly.

“This year, I really haven’t putted as well as I’d wanted too,” admitted Woods.

“And the times I did make a few swing mistakes, I missed in the wrong spots. Consequently, I just didn’t have the right looks at it. I’ve compounded mistakes here and there and I ended up not being able to make pars or a birdie runs. Consequently, I haven’t put myself in contention to win events.”

Woods will tee off on the tenth with fellow major winners Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas at Winged Foot on Thursday.