August 11, 2015

Tiger says consistency is key ahead of PGA Championship

Tiger Woods will look to continue his recent good play this week in the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. A four-time winner of the tournament, he has rebounded from back surgery, rehab and a swing overhaul to play solid golf in his last eight starts, averaging a score of 70.0.  

“I’m just trying to get better and get out there where I can win tournaments,” Woods said Tuesday during his pre-tournament press conference.

Should Tiger not post a strong showing this week, he will not qualify for the upcoming FedExCup Playoffs. Woods said that is not what is driving him this week. 

“I’m not looking like that at all,” he said. “I’m just looking at it to get my game better for the future. If I play well, I play well.” 

Asked what has held him back this year, Tiger said, “Probably consistency. I just need to be a little better from shot to shot.”

Woods begins first-round play Thursday at 9:15 a.m. ET on the 10th tee with Martin Kaymer and Keegan Bradley. In two previous PGA Championships held at Whistling Straits, Tiger tied for 24th and 28th. Kaymer won at Whistling Straits in 2010.

Woods has seven top-five finishes in the PGA Championship, second only to Jack Nicklaus, who has 14.

Whistling Straits meanders along a two-mile stretch of shoreline adjacent to Lake Michigan and features mogul-like fairways and more than 1,000 bunkers; some small, some large, some unraked. Keeping the ball in the fairways will be key this week.

“I believe this year, everything is a bunker,” Tiger said. “The sand doesn’t allow you to spin the golf ball. On top of that, you’re going to get a lot of really bad lies. The club wants to dig because the sand is so air-heavy.”

Then again, it’s the same for everybody.

“It is what it is,” he said. “If you stay away from those areas, you’ll be fine.”

No matter what happens this week, the 39-year-old Woods remains upbeat about his competitive future. His 79 PGA TOUR wins are second only to Sam Snead with 82, and his 14 major titles trail only Nicklaus with 18.

“I think it’s just fun to compete,” Tiger said. “Every day is an opportunity to get better. I really enjoy practicing and trying to get better for the next event.”

On Monday, Tiger’s new restaurant called The Woods Jupiter opened in Jupiter, Florida. While he was practicing at Whistling Straits and couldn’t attend, Woods has been and will continue to be very involved with day-to-day operations.

“I’ve been involved with every little step,” he said. “I’m going to be living there. I built my dream house there. To me, there’s nothing better than sports. I wanted to do something different, and I think we’ve done that.