Even Tiger Woods’ rivals are excited about the prospect of taking on the Masters champion when he returns to action at this week’s PGA Championship.
Woods will vie for a 16th major title when the 101st PGA Championship tees off at Bethpage Black next Thursday, and fans, pundits and players alike are waiting with bated breath to see what the former World No 1 will conjure up.
Woods’ comeback victory at Augusta last month could hardly have been more dramatic, coming as it did after an 11-year major drought that saw him battle a series of knee and back injuries that looked to have all but destroyed his career.
“One of the biggest wins I’ve ever had for sure,” Woods said. “It’s something I will never, ever forget.”
And while the prospect of a rejuvenated Woods isn’t exactly good news for his rivals, the reality is that even his fellow players are relishing the return of Tiger-mania, knowing full well what his recent achievement meant for the history – and the immediate future – of their sport.
“You could compare it to maybe the biggest, if not one of the biggest, moments in the history of golf,” said World No 20 Webb Simpson.
“From where he was, not knowing if he would ever play again. To come from feeling that way to winning the Masters is pretty amazing.”
As someone who grew up watching and idolising Woods, World No 1 Dustin Johnson still finds the prospect of going to toe-to-toe with him hugely exciting.
“For me to be competing against him when he’s coming back is a lot of fun,” said Johnson, who finished runner-up at the Masters. “He’s still a great player. I grew up watching him and kind of idolizing him so to get to play against him, it has been great.”
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 8, 2019
As he returns to the site of his 2002 US Open victory, Woods will try and get to within two of Jack Nicklaus’ major record. He is also just one win shy of Sam Snead’s record 82 PGA Tour wins.
He could also equal the record five PGA Championship titles by Nicklaus and Walter Hagen should he come out on top.
“My last three major championships have been pretty good,” Woods said. “So that in itself gives me a lot of confidence going down the road.”
And Woods isn’t worried about his age, either. With the advances in sport science, health and nutrition, being 43 isn’t what it used to be.
“Everyone works on their bodies, besides their game. Things have come a long way,” he said. “You’re just seeing guys that are taking care of their bodies a lot better and able to play longer.”
There’s not much in it as Cameron Tringale and Andre Landry top a tight leaderboard with one round to play at the John Deere Classic.
Sei Young Kim has a one stroke lead going into the final round of the Marathon Classic, with Lexi Thopmpson chasing.
Bernd Wiesberger was able to follow up his stunning 61 with an impressive 65 to earn a two-shot advantage at the Scottish Open on Saturday.
Jhonattan Vegas is the new leader at the John Deere Classic, while Lucas Glover put himself in contention after making a rare albatross.
Sei Young Kim is in the hunt for her second win of the season after seizing a one-shot lead after 36 holes of the LPGA Marathon Classic.
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger shares the Scottish Open lead heading into the weekend after firing a record-breaking 61.
The Scottish Open is supposed give players a taste of what they can expect at next week’s Open, but many of the players aren’t convinced.
Mexico’s Roberto Diaz fired a sparkling 62 to grab a two-shot lead on the opening day of the John Deere Classic.
South Korean rookie Youngin Chun and Canada’s Alena Sharp hold a one-shot lead after the opening round of the LPGA Marathon Classic.
Former champion Edoardo Molinari and Matt Kuchar both opened with eight-under-par 63s to grab a share of the lead at the Scottish Open.