Starting today, Tiger Woods gets one last chance to win a major tournament this year, those championships being the standard to which he holds himself.
He has won five tournaments in 2013, but none named the Masters, the U.S. Open or British Open. He has not won a major in five years — an eternity in Tiger years. But he cruised to a victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last weekend and that makes him the favorite in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.
“Tiger’s close,” Rory McIlroy, the defending champion, said Wednesday. “It was very impressive the way he played last week, especially the last two rounds. You know, people were writing him off at this time a couple of years ago, when he was outside the top 50 in the world.
“Now he’s back to where he was and it’s great to see. It’s good for the game of golf. I’d love to be able to get my game back to where I know it can be and be able to challenge him.”
Woods is stuck on 14 major titles, trailing Jack Nicklaus’s record by four.
“I think winning one major championship automatically means you had a great year,” he told reporters. “Even if you miss the cut in every tournament you play in; you win one, you’re part of history.”
That does not, however, mean he has adjusted his standards. “No” was all he said to that mere suggestion.
Woods, playing with Davis Love III and Keegan Bradley, tees off on the back nine at 8:35 a.m.EDT. Phil Mickelson, the British Open champion, is grouped with Adam Scott and Justin Rose and they tee off at 1:45 p.m. on the front nine.
TNT will broadcast the tournament from 1-7 p.m. EDT today and Friday with limited online streams of the first two rounds on PGA.com. CBS Sports.com and the PGA have limited streaming of marquee groups on their mobile apps. SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio will carry play as well, starting at 1 p.m. today and noon Friday.