For all the talk about Tiger Woods being “back,” he still has not won a major championship. He finished The Masters tied for 40th. He held a portion of the lead after two round of the U.S. Open in June, but moved in the opposite direction and finished tied for 21st. At the British Open last month, he was right there, but finished tied for third, his best finish in a major in three years.
The last opportunity for Woods this year begins Thursday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. And despite his steady play and three victories, to end the season without a major would signify more that he has work to do than he’s on the right track.
Woods acknowledges as much.
“I’m pleased at the way I was able to play at certain parts of it and at certain times, and obviously disappointed that I did not win,” Woods said after an abbreviated practice round that was shortened because of inclement weather. “I’ve played in three major championships this year and I didn’t win any of them.
“So that’s the goal. I was there at the U.S. Open after two days and I was right there with a chance at the British Open. Things have progressed, but still, not winning a major championship doesn’t feel very good.”
His last major win came at the 2008 U.S. Open.
The trio of wins this year means something to Woods. So does leading the PGA Tour money list and the FedEx Cup points race. But he made it clear winning majors is the goal, and he’s been stuck on 14 – four behind all-time leader Jack Nicklaus – since he took the U.S. Open in 2008.
“Winning golf tournaments makes it successful,” is how he put it, “but winning majors makes it a great year.”
Eight previous years in his career Woods has come to the PGA Championship having not won a major, and he prevailed in 1999 and 2007. He also won the tournament in 2000 and 2006.
At 36, Woods said he is no panicked that time is not on his side.
“I figure . . . it’s going to take a long time,” he said about catching Nicklaus. “Jack didn’t finish his until he was 46, so if you go by that timetable, I’ve got 10 more years. Forty majors (potential chances) is a lot. I’ve got plenty of time.”