August 4, 2020 18h43
Tiger Woods ready for PGA Championship… without spectators
SAN FRANCISCO — Tiger Woods knows the journey he is about to negotiate, as it has had very good memories. He won the PGA Championship four times, more than anyone except Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.
Woods has learned in the last year that it did nothing to the level of his game.
After having crowned his return to the game with a dramatic victory at the Masters, Woods has spent only two days on the fairways of Bethpage Black before you miss the threshold level of qualification for the round of the weekend.
He has said that he is much more optimistic for the tournament which will be held at TPC Harding Park as of Thursday.
The fact that he has played only one tournament — he finished tied for 40th place at the Memorial — in the last six months because of the outbreak of coronavirus, and the timing light was of no importance.
It showed up on the first tee of the Harding Park on Sunday morning, as the first rays of sun pierced the clouds, to compete in a round to complete, and then he followed that up with additional nine holes Monday morning, while the fog covered cypress trees, and the thermometer was barely 10 degrees Celsius.
A year ago, he had played a round full a week before the PGA Championship, and the other nine holes, just three days before the first round of the tournament. This year, his approach seems to be more serious.
“After the Masters Tournament, I was caught up in a whirlwind, told Woods. I was able to get to the White House and meet the president. I celebrated this victory in the Masters Tournament for a good time. Then, I showed up at Bethpage, and I played in a terrible way. I had the impression that Brooks [Koepka] had beaten me by 30 strokes in two days.”
It was not that bad. Koepka has been dominated by only 17 shots en route to the conquest of a second trophy, the Wanamaker consequential damages.
“After the Masters Tournament, I was caught in a whirlwind. I was able to get to the White House and meet the president. I celebrated this victory in the Masters Tournament for a good time. Then, I showed up at Bethpage, and I played in a terrible way. ”
“My game is currently better than the same time last year, continued Woods, and I hope that I will be able to gather all the pieces of the puzzle at the same time this week.”
Of course, it is not possible to predict how to behave around her back tomorrow, and even less in a week. And he has not participated in enough tournaments recently to know where is his game.
Woods and other PGA golfers will also have to get used to play without spectators. “That is an unknown. I don’t know if someone from our generation has already played without supporters in a major tournament. It’s going to be very different,” said Woods.
“But it’s still a major tournament. The best golfers in the world are still there. We all understand this go out and there will still be full of energy from this point of view there,” he added. “As much as if there was an audience, that we don’t know. I hope to be able to put myself in a position where I can feel that I can win even without the supporters”, continued the American.
Woods had already tasted the competition closed in July in Ohio tournament Muirfield Village. “This situation never came. This is the new world in which we live. We need to get used to that”, he estimated.
Harding Park is a course 7251 yards, which is at the level of the sea. The air is heavy, and the sea breeze is so important that it is very rare to see the sun break through the clouds. The PGA Championship has rarely been carried out in autumn conditions. Woods said that he had listened to his fellow golfers present at the practice field on Monday to discuss the last tournament in Memphis, Tennessee, and emphasise the extent to which the ball traveled less.
The fresh air could cause headaches for Woods, who has undergone four surgeries at the back and that has had its share of trouble in cold weather.
His back has played a round at Riviera in suburban Los Angeles, in February, forcing him to be absent for a few weeks. And then, the pandemic has struck. And once again, his back has caused problems in the heat of the month of July, in Ohio, for a few days. This is an aspect that Woods will never be able to control it.
“I know that I will not be so flexible that when I plays at home in Florida, where it’s 30 degrees Celsius every day. It is like that, he explained. I think the weather will be similar throughout the week — a sea breeze, the cool weather, the wind, but we will all have to deal with the same conditions of the game.”