As a heavy thunder storm rumbled its way over Kiawah Island at mid-day today, calling a halt to practice rounds for the 2012 PGA Championship on the Ocean Course, questions put to Tiger Woods in his press conference were being drowned out by the almighty din outside. Rain even crept into his press conference, dripping off the steel beams of a leaking media centre.
“It doesn’t look like we are going to get dry weather this week,” said Woods with a degree of under-statement. “It’s soft out there. The ball is not picking up mud though, which is nice. The fairways are perfect; greens are perfect. The course is just going to be a touch on the long side because [the ball] is just not rolling out.”
Of Woods’ 14 career major titles, four have been PGA Championships, yet the former world number one is here to try to put an end to the longest spell of his professional career without a major win. Wood’s last major triumph was in the 2008 US Open, and there have been 17 major tournaments since.
There have also been 16 different winners from the past 16 majors, with Padraig Harrington breaking the run in 2008, when he won both the Open Championship and PGA Championship.
“Golf is getting deep,” offered Woods. “There are so many guys with a chance to win. The margin is getting smaller. There may be 16 different winners, but look at the cuts – the cuts are getting lower. The scores between the leader and the guy who is 70th is sometimes 10 shots or less, which is amazing. It used to be 14 or 15 shots. The margins are so small and hence, you are going to get guys who win once here and there.”
The strength in professional golf is ever deepening, but that is not to suggest Woods lacks confidence in his chance to end his majors drought this week.
“In the last couple of years my game was not where it’s at right now. This year I’ve won three tournaments, with chances to have won more. Physically my game is way different from last year, and it has been nice to have the option to practice after each round. That wasn’t the case last year and my game has improved because of it.”
Woods tees off at 8:30am in the first round on Thursday, with two more past winners of the PGA Championship; defending champion Keegan Bradley, and 2010 winner Martin Kaymer.
Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, official car of the 2012 PGA Championship