Woods has five wins but has fallen short of victory in the year's first three majors. (Franklin/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Tiger Woods said Tuesday that his five wins, which have come at, among other places, THE PLAYERS Championship and at two World Golf Championships events, have marked what’s been a “great” year.
But Woods has always measured his own success by major championships. So what if he ends this season without one for the fifth straight year?
“Yes,” Woods said when asked if he would still consider it a great year. Asked, however, if he’d therefore adjusted his standards, he replied, “No.”
One thing he has going for him coming into this week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill is that the last time he played this well in winning at Firestone, he went on to win the PGA Championship the following week, at Southern Hills in 2007.
What will his strategy be at a considerably different Oak Hill?
“It's playing quick,” Woods said. “These fairways, especially on the left side, they obviously cut it downgrain on the left side so you can get a lot of chase to it. Even though it's a little bit longer than what it was in '03, it might be playing a little bit shorter because it is drier.
“How I'm going to attack is I I'm just going to play to my little sections and go from there. I just think that depends on wind and some of the holes, how far I decide to go down on some of these fairways. Obviously sometimes I may lay back with a 5‑wood or 3‑wood on some of these tees.”
When Woods first practice here, early in the week last week, he expressed his concerns over the greens, calling them “spotty” and saying they were running at about a 9 on the Stimpmeter.
They’ve since firmed up, however.
“I think they are close to 11‑plus now,” Woods said. “I'm sure they are going to dry them out and roll them a little bit more and get a little bit more speed out of them.
“(Shots) are just kind of digging in and kind of rolling, so it's a little bit different than we played last week. That's one of the reasons why I went around (Monday) and chipped and putted so much was to get a little bit more feel for that.”
That feel, or lack thereof, is what has cost him at times in other majors this year and has prevented him from winning a 15th career major
Has No. 15 been the most difficult to win for Woods? In short, yes.
“It kind of seems that way,” Woods admitted. “I've had, certainly, my share of chances to win. I've had my opportunities there on the back nine on those probably half of those Sundays for the last five years where I've had a chance, and just haven't won it. But the key is to keep giving myself chances, and eventually I'll start getting them.”