AAP Golf

Tiger eyes major No.16 at PGA Champs

By AAP Newswire

Tiger Woods is vowing not to waste another chance at major championship glory after partying too hard following last year's emotional Masters triumph.

Woods says his Masters hangover that included a trip to the White House was to blame for a poor showing at last year's US PGA Championship.

The former world No.1 admits the celebrations for his stirring comeback victory at Augusta National - his 15th major title - lasted more than a month.

By the time he arrived at New York's Bethpage course for the 2019 PGA, he was gassed and missed the cut.

"I celebrated winning the Masters for quite some time," Woods said at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind; we got a chance to go to the White House, my family, and meet with our President (Donald Trump).

"I came to Bethpage and played awful."

But Woods says this year is different, and not just because COVID-19 forced officials to cancel the British Open and move the PGA to August, the US Open to September and the Masters to November. The first two majors will be conducted without fans.

"My game is better than it was going into that PGA (last year) and hopefully I can put it together this week."

There are plenty of reasons to doubt Woods can win a 16th major this week and move to within two of Jack Nicklaus' record tally of 18.

Woods has played just one US PGA Tour event since the circuit resumed in June following a 90-day suspension due to COVID-19.

But he is confident regular money matches with close friends including defending champion Brooks Koepka and world No.1 Justin Thomas at their home base of Medalist Golf Club in Florida, have been enough to keep the 82-time US PGA Tour winner sharp.

"I've been competing at home and we've been playing for a few dollars," Woods said. "But that's so different than it is out here playing competitively in a tournament environment."

Woods, whose galleries are normally in the thousands, will also have to contest a major championship without fans for the first time in his career.

"Well, that's an unknown; I don't know if anyone in our generation has ever played without fans in a major championship," he said.

"It's going to be very different. But it's still a major championship; it's still the best players in the world."

It's also forecast to be cold, damp and foggy in San Francisco this week, which is not ideal for Woods, who has had four back surgeries.

Still, the 44-year-old insists he is major championship ready.

"This is what I've been gearing up for. We've got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it," he said.

Asked could he win this week, Woods said: "Of course."