Tiger Woods has brief practice, recovering physically before PGA Championship

09 August, 2018, 09:10 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Justin Thomas

Aug 7, 2018; St. Louis, MO, USA; Jim Furyk (right) hits his tee shot in front of Tiger Woods (left) on the first hole during Tuesdays practice round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Bellerive Country Club.

Only Woods has won the PGA Championship in consecutive years since it became a stroke-play event in 1958.

Skinny: The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year had a quiet sophomore campaign until he tied for second at The Players, sixth at the U.S. Open and then played his way into the final group at Carnoustie, eventually tying for second.

But Bellerive has a strong Southern African connection with Gary Player and Zimbabwe's Nick Price winning the only two majors it has previously hosted.

Ryder Cup jockeying: This is the last opportunity for American players to play their way into a guaranteed pick for the Ryder Cup team by finishing among the top 8 in points.

Rose admitted it's a different way to approach a major championship, but the victor of the 2013 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills has been in enough of those that he knows what to expect. "I think the big thing is how the ball's going to react on the greens, because there's not a lot of, like, base underneath the grass and there's not a lot of root system", McIlroy added.

Couple that with his inability to close out several rounds this year or put together four solid rounds in a tournament and statistics that show his club speed has decreased and doubts arise.

It looks like he has been trying to fix it. Rory has a golf game based on his driver swing. ("That was probably a sign that I should have picked up quicker on", Furyk said.) In 13 starts this season, Woods, coming off a fourth back surgery, has four finishes of T-6 or better. "I don't know why I haven't played the back nine as well as I have in the past", Woods said. "There's going to be a lot of people, I know that".

"Even though he's won 14 of these things, if you haven't done it for awhile, you still have to re-learn a few things, and I think he's going through that stage. I played in a lot of final groups and I haven't played well enough when it has counted".

"I don't think they're going to be the smoothest of greens we've played on, but everyone has got to play them", he said.

Johnson, who won recently in Canada, is looking to lift his second career major championship trophy to further cement his hold on the No. 1 ranking.

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"Unfortunately, I made two mistakes there on 11 and 12 and it cost me a chance to win the championship".

"Tiger has been a pretty big influence for me", Thomas said.

"It got me motivated being out on that range and seeing those guys, and [thinking], 'I want to do this'".

McIlroy is one of several big hitters arriving at the year's final major in top form.

Meanwhile, European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn has pulled out on the eve of the tournament with a back injury.

"I needed Monday off so I spent a few times in the ice bath just trying to get some inflammation down and just trying to get ready for the rest of the week", he said.

"You'll see some hole outs this week by the look of this golf course".

"I feel like I'm just showing up to catch Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, I wouldn't do that".

"The number one thing that stuck out really was how much he sort of struggled for a while in that first round, but stuck in, kept that belief and kept himself in the game and ended up winning a major", he said.

"In terms of managing expectations, at the end of the day, it's still golf", he said Wednesday.

"I think I was probably a little more anxious past year, just because there was a big focus right after winning the Open Championship", Spieth said Tuesday as thunder boomed and rain pelted Bellerive Country Club, washing out many practice rounds.

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