Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Woods primed to end five-year major drought at PGA Championship

updated 8:11 AM EDT, Thu August 8, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods in good shape to end a five year long major championship drought
  • World No. 1 last won one of golf's four major titles at the U.S. Open in 2008
  • Woods has won five PGA Tour titles in 2013 most recently at Bridgestone Invitational
  • Fourteen-time major champion is happy with form going into US PGA Championship

(CNN) -- It is a regular refrain in the build-up to one of golf's four major championships these days: 'Will this be Tiger's time?'

The world number one has been marooned on 14 majors for over half a decade now, his quest to match Jack Nicklaus' haul of 18 stuck firmly in neutral.

Despite five tournament victories this year on the PGA Tour, he's flattered to deceive when it comes to golf's four bumper tournaments.

In contention at both the Masters and the British Open he faded at the business end, finishing tied sixth and fourth respectively, while injury affected his U.S. Open bid.

Read: Woods romps to seven-shot victory at Firestone

But he arrives for the U.S. PGA Championship at Oak Hill in New York on the back of an emphatic win at the Bridgestone Invitational, finishing seven shots clear of the field.

Mickelson revels in British Open win
New golf course at St. Andrews
Bubba Watson on Tiger Woods

No wonder then that he's content with his form going into the final major of 2013.

Asked at a press conference on Tuesday whether the 15th major is proving the most difficult of his career to snare he replied: "It kind of seems that way. It has been the longest spell that I've had since I hadn't won a major.

"I've certainly had my share of chances to win. I've had my opportunities on the back nine of probably half of those Sundays for the last five years and just haven't won it.

"But the key is to keep giving myself chances and eventually I will start getting them. I'm very pleased with where my game is at."

Given the phenomenal success he's enjoyed so far in 17 years as a professional, it is unsurprising his career has come to be determined by how he performs in the majors.

Coincidentally, it is now also 17 majors he's gone without winning one. But even if he doesn't collect his fifth US PGA title this weekend, he'll still think of his 2013 campaign as a positive one.

"It has been a great year for me so far, winning five times," Woods said. "I think winning one major championship automatically means you had a great year."

Woods has been hard at work honing his short game ahead of Thursday's opening round at Oak Hill, tricky greens forming a big part of the test in Rochester.

Again he turned to his United States Ryder Cup teammate Steve Stricker -- as well as caddy Joe La Cava -- for some tips on how to negotiate the undulating greens.

"There are quite a few subtleties," Woods said. "These little ridges and waves in the greens, a little bit of grain here and there. They are tough. They are tricky to read. I'm sure I'll be calling Joey in on a few putts as well.

The key is to keep giving myself chances. I'm very pleased with where my game is at
Tiger Woods

"A lot of the long putts had double breaks in them. It's going to be important to hit a lot of greens and give yourself opportunities because these are a little bit tricky to read, there's no doubt."

Woods is still the biggest draw at any tournament he attends but he revealed his popularity nearly caused an injury for a young fan in Rochester.

"We had a little girl get crushed," Woods said. "She was just on the ground crying. People get so aggressive for autographs. You try and sign but sometimes the adults start running over the little kids up front."

Read: Mickelson savors 'greatest day'

Meanwhile, the man who won the last major title on offer at the British Open in July -- Phil Mickelson -- is gunning for the sixth of his career.

His inspired run of four birdies in the final six holes at Muirfield delivered Lefty's first British Open title at the 20th attempt. Now he has his sights of the final major of the season.

"I've studied the golf course," Mickelson said. "I know exactly how I'm going to play it. I just need to get my game sharp now."

"You've got to hit fairways. The rough is extremely long and thick, as long and thick a rough as I've seen in a long time."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:47 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
If golf has a reputation for being a bit stuffy, then the Bryan brothers and their trick shots are a much-needed blast of fresh air.
updated 8:18 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
Not many people make the leap from teenage market trader to golf pro and fashion entrepreneur, but that's just what Ian Poulter has done.
updated 6:29 AM EST, Wed November 12, 2014
"Sleep, as far as mental and physical recovery goes, has never been more important ..." says sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales.
updated 5:24 AM EST, Tue November 4, 2014
Joe Miller is devouring his second steak of the day and the clock has barely nudged 2pm. You need lots of fuel to smash a drive 474 yards.
updated 10:49 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
updated 12:09 PM EDT, Mon September 15, 2014
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
updated 8:13 AM EDT, Mon September 29, 2014
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Thu September 25, 2014
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
updated 9:01 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.
ADVERTISEMENT