For the first time in 13 months, the best golfers in the world are gathered in a Grand Slam tournament : the Championship of the PGA of America. In this season turned upside down since mid-march, rarely have we seen Tiger Woods is to point the tip of the nose. As of Thursday, he will be out in a second appearance in six months.
It is a “Tiger” chilled by the marine air from the San Francisco area who has presented in front of a handful of journalists at TPC Harding Park in addition to dozens of members of the press present online.
Since mid-February, the big cat 44-year-old has only taken part in two official tournaments, the Invitation to Genesis, which took place in California in the middle of the winter, and the Memorial, two weeks ago in Ohio.
Two outputs, at which the man with 82 victories within the PGA has not shone as a genius. Two rounds out of eight played under the normal and a cumulative score of +17.
But the arrival of the month of August is synonymous with the beginning of a sequence, work on the professional circuit for men. Not only is it the first major championship of the season, what will then be the start of the race to the FedEx cup of the PGA Tour.
Installed at the 48th rank, Woods could not remain seated, feet on the pouf, in his home in Jupiter, warm Florida.
“I try to come back in force for this segment of the season. I am prepared. We have several big events “, pointed out the one who has achieved success on the Pacific coast.
California has always smiled. The native of Cypress, in the south of the State, made the rain and the good weather. The moment of the two too short years, he has represented the Cardinal of Stanford university on the storefront in Palo Alto, just south of San Francisco. Before going in the pros, it moved already the crowds.
TPC Harding Park is a playground. There are many times played in qualifications and tournaments. En route to this journey, his memories are abundant in the Olympic Club, Lake Merced and San Francisco Club. All of the places where he performed feats since his young age.
Woods remembers, among other things, a fabulous iron shot 3 the approach to the 18th flag at Harding Park during the Presidents Cup in 2009 in the face of Mike Weir and Tim Clark.
And what to say of the extension face to face with John Daly at the world Championship of golf American Express in 2005 ? The atmosphere was electric until Woods wins on a short rode missed his rival.
Without the energy of the crowd
This week, the “Tiger” had an aspect that he has not experienced for a long time. Accustomed to massive crowds at his kits on a journey to their cries, and their encouragement, he will hear instead of the birds. The PGA Championship will be played behind closed doors as soon as Thursday.
Although he has had a glimpse at Muirfield Village in mid-July, nothing compares to the atmosphere of a major tournament when the spectators react. Woods knows how to tap into their energy at times to be critical.
“We pataugerons in the unknown. This will be very different. The best players in the world are still gathered. It includes all, therefore the energy will be pulled out of the competition. “
With a back as capricious as mother Nature on the Pacific coast, Woods has taken care to bring some warm clothes.
On Tuesday, mercury has not exceeded the 15 degrees Celsius while the sea breeze has been slow to rise. The former world number one wore so many layers and even a scarf.
“In my case, when it is so fresh, I must ensure that my body stays warm. I know that I couldn’t do the same movements at home, in Florida, where it is 35 °C. It’s like that “, explained the athlete to the back and sore knees.
“The ball doesn’t travel as much “
“It is similar to the guy who arrived from Memphis, he added. They do not present the same data momentum. This field will be played as long as it does not appear to 7250 yards. The density of the air and the winds are disrupting. The ball does not travel as much. ”
Despite all that, Woods did not budge. He believes in his chances to add a fifth title of the PGA of America to his list. Each thing in its time, looking forward to Friday evening before assessing his chances.
Tiger Woods in 2019-2020
4 official tournaments
11 under the normal
(Swozzle Championship – October)
At the PGA Championship
8 top-5’s 4 wins
At TPC Harding Park
World championship American
Express 2005 : 1st (-10) (win extension)
Presidents cup 2009 : 5 wins