Venues key for Woods’ major bid

Tiger Woods believes the venues for next year’s four majors could play a vital role in his bid to end his drought.

Having won his 14 majors in an 11-year spell from 1997 to 2008, the American has now gone five years without adding to that total with his last success coming at the US Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

With the drought stretching to five years, many are wondering whether the 37-year-old will get to Jack Nicklaus’ magical record of 18 majors.

Woods, though, is confident he is getting back to his best form and believes the fact that the 2014 majors will be played at courses that he likes will play into his hands.

The Masters will once again take place at Augusta, while Hoylake and Valhalla will host the Open and USPGA respectively with Pinehurst is the venue for the US Open.

“Next year is a really good one,” said Woods, who is good value for money with Paddy Power to break Nicklaus’ record. “Pinehurst, I’ve had a third and a second, and hopefully it will keep improving like it has.

“I’m looking forward to the four venues – I like them and I’ve obviously played well on them.”

The 2013 season has been an excellent one for Woods, who won five tournaments en route to returning to the top of the world rankings, and the American feels it shows you can never write anyone off.

“A couple of years ago there were a lot of guys saying I could never win again,” said the world number one, with Paddy Power making him the early favourite for the first major of 2014 at Augusta.

“I’ve got eight wins since then, so it’s been good and I’m very happy with the progress I’ve made.

“I’ve won on some venues that were very tough this year, and obviously winning the Presidents Cup with Freddie [Couples, the US captain] was another special moment.”