After coming off an 18th place finish last week at the Quicken Loans National, Tiger Woods has his sights set on the final major of the PGA Tour season: the coveted PGA Championship. Woods, who missed the cut at his previous two majors — the U.S. Open and the British Open — is looking to play well enough to play the weekend, although will probably be an unlikely contender to hoist the Wanamaker trophy come Sunday afternoon.
Woods did show some promising signs that his golf game and swing were headed in the right direction at Quicken Loans National where he fired three-solid rounds in the 60s. A poor over-par third round barred him from contention at perhaps the most realistic chance at winning he’s had this season so far. Tiger seemed more in control of his swing last week, and even though he was still erratic off the tee, his iron play seemed solid as he flushed some shots close to the pin.
Woods, whose best finish so far this season was a tie for 17th at the Masters back in April, has had a dismal year with three missed cuts, no victories, and three rounds in the 80s. He has tumbled down the Official World Golf Rankings to outside the top 250, a seemingly unfathomable position for the former world number one who once dominated the game for so long.
Tiger heads into the PGA Championship desperately needing a good performance to prove to himself and the golfing world that he can still compete with the world’s elite golfers. He also needs a good week to have any chance at qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, as he currently sits well outside the top-125 who are eligible to play. Given Tiger’s poor showing at his previous two major championships, it is doubtful as to whether Tiger will even make the cut this week, let alone be in contention on the weekend.
Woods, however, seemed more hopeful when he spoke to the media. According to Yahoo! News, the 14-time major champion seemed happy with the progress he has made so far, and looked to continue to regain his old form.
“It was nice to be able to struggle but score. Finally I can ‘feel’ my hands again which is nice. It’s a process of putting one foot in front of the other and one day I’ll get to the point where I’m in contention again.”
Tiger Woods will begin his quest for his 15th major title when he tees off Thursday morning at 8:15 a.m. local time along with playing partners Martin Kaymer and Keegan Bradley. If only Woods could sustain his flashes of brilliance he displayed at the Quicken Loans National throughout this entire week, then Woods might seriously be in contention when the weekend rolls around. But all season, he has had to grind and fight it out, and this week may not be any different for Tiger and his struggles with his swings.
[Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images]