SAN FRANCISCO — The last count on posed to Tiger Woods in his pre-tournament press conference Tuesday at Harding Park upfront of this week’s PGA Championship came from a reporter who requested him, “Are you able to secure this week?’’
“Needless to claim,’’ Woods said with a ample smile.
And proper adore that, Woods’ count on-and-acknowledge session used to be over ahead of anyone would possibly quiz this put collectively-up count on: “What makes you have confidence that?’’
Because there are loads of factors conspiring to kind this a potentially-refined week for Woods to succeed — whether success is measured by successful the tournament, contending or merely making the minimize.
Let’s launch with the truth that by the level he tees off his opening spherical alongside Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas on Thursday, Woods can comprise played four tournament rounds of golf within the previous 170 days. He’s played in fully three tournaments in 2020.
Add into that equation the climate this week in San Francisco is anticipated to be chilly (60s) and damp (fog, mist marine layer), namely within the mornings. And Woods’ 44-Twelve months-feeble surgically-repaired physique prefers the searing heat and suffocating humidity he plays in at house in South Florida.
Add to that the truth that there are a dozen younger, better-fit star gamers who’re getting into this week in high originate, foundation with newly-minted No. 1-ranked Thomas, Brooks Koepka, who appears to be to comprise chanced on his originate correct in time to head for a 3-peat on the PGA this week, McIlroy, who many envisage to be the excellent all-around participant within the world, Jon Rahm, who correct acquired Memorial and used to be No. 1 ahead of Thomas wrested it away along with his secure Sunday in Memphis.
That’s fully the rapid list of gamers who resolve to excel before Woods. These factors resolve to be critical hurdles for Woods to beat to secure his 16th profession main championship this week.
Tiger Woods taking half in a apply spherical recently for the PGA ChampionshipGetty ImagesSure, Woods has a successful history at Harding Park, where he acquired the WGC-American Categorical in 2005, beating John Daly in a playoff, and going undefeated within the 2009 Presidents Cup.
However that Woods and this Woods are diverse beings. That Woods used to be the excellent participant within the world abet then. This Woods has a balky abet and plays tournament golf about as in general because the Augusta National individuals enable unaccompanied company to play.
On the replacement hand, this used to be Woods’ review of himself on Tuesday: “I absorb factual,’’ he said.
“Clearly, I haven’t played unheard of competitively, nonetheless I’ve been taking half in loads at house, so I’ve been getting deal of reps that map,’’ he went on. “(I’m) correct attempting to gather my map abet into this phase of the season. Right here’s what I’ve been gearing up for. We’ve got loads of immense events starting from here, so waiting for it.
“Right here goes to be a stress-free test for all of us. The tough is up. Fairways are unheard of more narrow than they were here in 2009.’’
What about the bodily challenges with the projected chilly climate?
“For me when it’s cooler adore this, it’s correct ensuring that my core stays heat, layering up successfully,’’ Woods said. “I do know I acquired’t comprise the an analogous vary of bound as I would possibly per chance abet house in Florida where it’s 95 on each day basis. That’s correct the system it’s miles.
“The ball doesn’t fly very a ways here. I’ve identified that from your entire years and times I’ve needed to qualify up on this jam (whereas taking half in faculty golf at end by Stanford). It’s repeatedly 20 levels cooler here than it’s miles down there in Palo Alto. I absorb the climate forecast is purported to be adore this all week: Marine layer, chilly, windy, and we are all going to must contend with it.’’
Woods said he felt “very racy about some adjustments I’ve made’’ whereas practising at house whereas, useless to claim, declining to articulate them.
Asked what he got out of his four rounds on the Memorial about a weeks ago, his fully tournament golf since he accomplished last on the Genesis Delivery at Riviera in February, Woods said, “Bigger than the rest, I had now not had the aggressive drift. I’ve been competing at house … nonetheless that’s so diverse than it’s miles out here taking half in competitively in a tournament environment.
“Being patient is believed to be one of many things that I used to be real enough with accessible, struggling with piquant as I did to kind the minimize. I birdied two of the last three holes and made a ample par putt on 9 (his final gap in Friday’s 2nd spherical). These are all trip things I be taught about abet on.’’
However will they be enough to withhold him into the winner’s circle this week?