Sunday 26 March 2017

Tiger Woods eyes for major titles as he pencils in comeback date

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods doubts he will equal Jack Nicklaus' haul of 18 Major championship wins but believes he can add to his current total of 14 as he nears a return to competitive golf.

The 40-year-old has suffered a string of injury problems since last winning one of the sport's four majors at the 2008 US Open, and earlier this month delayed his planned comeback by withdrawing from the Safeway Open.

Speaking in an interview with CBS, Woods, who has had three operations on his back in the space of 19 months, said he planned to resume playing competitively before the end of the year.

"I'm hoping to come back in December," Woods said.

"I miss being out there. I miss competing. I miss mixing it up with the boys and coming down the stretch.

"I like beating those guys. That's why I practice all those hours ... is to be ready to take on those guys down the stretch. And do I miss it? Absolutely, 100 per cent."

Asked whether he still believed he would match Nicklaus' record 18 Major victories, Woods replied: "To be honest with you, no.

When questioned whether he has come to accept that, the former world number one added: "I've accepted I'm going to get more.

"Jack was always one of my heroes. I looked up to him, I looked at his record. That was the gold standard."

Woods, who was a vice-captain as America regained the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine earlier this month, also conceded that his lengthy injury problems will have long-term repercussions.

The four-time Masters winner, whose last PGA Tour appearance came in August 2015, said: "To be at my age now, at 40 years old, I'm the first one to admit I can't do the things I used to be able to do.

"Most people can't at my age, versus when they were younger. I have to find different ways to go about it.

"I'm naturally a tactician. Even when I was hitting the ball long and blowing over the top of bunkers, that was the strategy. And so, I used my mind, and then eventually the method I used allowed me to master my craft.

"I know how to get it done. I just need to get into a position to get it done."

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