Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 17th 2013 Contents A53
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
GULLANE---Tiger Woods said
his ailing left elbow is "good to
go" for the British Open, and he
insisted yesterday there s no loss
of confidence despite the longest
stretch of his career without a
Woods held his regular session
with the media ahead of the British
Open at Muirfield, where he
resumes his quest for a 15th major
title. Once considered a lock to
break Jack Nicklaus record, he
hasn t won one of golf s biggest
events since the 2008 US Open.
"I feel very good about my
game," Woods said. "I feel very,
very good going into major cham-
pionships. I ve had a pretty good
year this year so far---won four
times. Even though I haven t won
a major championship in five years,
I ve been there in a bunch of them
where I ve had chances. I just need
to keep putting myself there and
eventually I ll get some."
The biggest question mark for
Woods at this major is his health.
He strained his elbow at last
month s US Open, playing in vis-
ible pain while struggling to a
32nd-place finish. He hasn t played
since Merion, even skipping his
own tournament to give the injury
time to heal.
"The elbow feels good," Woods
said. "It s one of the good things
of taking the time off to let it heal
and get the treatment and therapy
"The main reason was that
coming over here, the ground is
going to be hard, obviously. And
I m going to need that elbow to
be good. And just in case the rough
was, well, reports were it was going
to be high, and it was going to be
lush. I needed to have this thing
set and healed. And everything is
good to go."
Woods has dealt with several
injuries, a swing change and major
distractions in his personal life
since winning at Torrey Pines five
Not like he hasn t been in con-
tention. Woods has eight top-10
finishes in the majors since his last
victory, but he hasn t been able to
break his drought. Now he s
returning to a course where he
shot his worst round as a profes-
sional, an 81 in miserable condi-
tions during the third round of the
2002 British Open.
"It s just a shot here and there,"
he said. "It s making a key up-
and-down here or getting a good
bounce there, capitalising on an
opportunity here and there."
Woods is again the world s top-
ranked player, and no one comes
close to his 13 PGA Tour victories
over the last five years. But he
knows better than anyone that
major titles are what will determine
his legacy. These are the tourna-
ments he gears his entire season
around, the ones he wants more
than any others.
In his eyes, it s just a matter of
time before he wins another one.
"It s not much," Woods said.
"It could happen on the first
day, it could happen on the last
day. But it s turning that tide and
getting the momentum at the right
time or capitalizing on our oppor-
tunity. That s what you have to do
to win major championships." (AP)
GULLANE---If Graeme McDowell
is hanging around Muirfield beyond
Friday, the rest of the British Open
field had better watch out.
The Northern Irishman has been
consistently inconsistent since the
Masters in April, missing five cuts
and claiming three wins in his eight
He s either back home from a
tournament on a Saturday or raising
aloft a trophy on a Sunday.
So, which way is he leaning for
the British Open?
"I think links-style golf is in my
blood," McDowell said yesterday,
"and I always feel like I revert back
well to it. I naturally and instinctively
play well in the wind."
Given the long-range forecast, the
wind may not be too much of a fac-
tor this week but the seventh-ranked
McDowell clearly fancies his chances
on Scotland s east coast.
He has just one top-10 finish in
his nine Opens---that coming last
year when he played in the final pair
on the Sunday at Lytham but shot
75 to tie for fifth---but his recent
wins at the French Open and the
World Matchplay Championship in
Bulgaria have come on what he
described as "linksy" courses.
And then there was a victory at
the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head,
standing tall on a wind-swept Sun-
day before outlasting Webb Simpson
in a playoff.
McDowell grew up playing links
golf at Royal Portrush, the home
course of 2011 Open champion Dar-
ren Clarke, and feels right at home
every time the---links-based---
world s oldest major comes around.
He labels Muirfield as a "tactician s
golf course," something right up his
"If I ever design a course, it will
be a lot of different clubs off tees,
and irons and woods, and something
that kind of gets the brain working
a little bit," he said. "This is certainly
a game of chess this week."
Given all those missed cuts---six
in 13 events in 2013---no wonder
McDowell described himself as "feel-
ing fresh" and looking forward to a
month-long stint that will take in
two majors plus a WGC event in
Tiger Woods of the US plays a shot off the fifth tee during a practice round for
the British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield, Scotland, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Woods says elbow fine,
no loss of confidence
McDowell seeks cure for inconsistency at Muirfield
Links Archive July 16th 2013 July 18th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page