Despite having his winning streak snapped his last time out, Tiger Woods isn't backing off his statement made earlier this season that winning all four major tournament titles might not be out of the question for him this year.
Woods, speaking Tuesday in Augusta, Ga., where he his preparing for the start of the Masters on Thursday, said the main reason he feels like winning the Grand Slam isn't so unthinkable is simply because he has won four straight majors before. The feat, often referred to as the "Tiger Slam," came when he won the final three majors of 2000 and then made it four straight with a victory in the 2001 Masters.
"You have to understand why I said that: (It's) because I've done it before. I've won all four in a row," Woods told reporters. "(The) majority of my career, I think this is my 13th season out here, and nine of those years I've won five or more tournaments.
"So (I've) just got to win the right four. That's what it boils down to."
Adam Scott, for one, said he'd be one of the last people to scoff at the notion of Woods thinking he could win all four majors in 2008.
"I can't see how the guy could not be confident of that happening," Scott told reporters. "He's winning so often when he plays that he must step on the first tee feeling pretty good about his chances every week."
Woods certainly isn't saying that winning majors — or any tournament, for that matter — is easy.
"A lot of things come together in order to win a championship and more so major championships," Woods said. "One break where you hit a tree, and it goes out of play, and didn't come back in or it happens to catch the right slope or catches the right gust of winds — all of these little factors that come in just one time is the difference between winning and losing."
Obviously, Woods is an expert on the fine line between winning and being an also-ran. The No. 1-ranked player in the world has captured 13 majors and has 64 career PGA Tour victories. Woods, who won at Augusta National in 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005, is one of three four-time Masters champions.
Woods already has four wins worldwide this year. However, he's coming off a fifth-place finish in the World Golf Championships-CA Championship at Doral Golf Resort and Spa's Blue Monster Course, ending a winning streak that dated back to last September.
Woods insists that what transpired in his previous tournament would have no effect on his play this week.
"You have to put whatever happened behind you whether you won or lost, and it's all about this week," Woods said. "You've got to be focused and ready to come Thursday and get everything going the right way."
As for dealing with the lofty expectations from fans and media that he'll win or at least be in the hunt every week, Woods said he doesn't pay attention to what anyone else thinks. He said he plays for himself and his family — something that his late father, Earl Woods, encouraged him to do.
Other than that, Woods said he's simply motivated by the quest to be the best.
"I love winning," Woods said. "I just love getting out there and mixing it up with the guys here, and they are trying to beat me, and I'm trying to beat them. That's fun."
April 9, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
... full article »