PGA Championship: Tiger Woods will take positives into next majors
Last Updated: 10/08/20 3:14am
Wayne 'Radar' Riley reflects on Tiger Woods performance at the PGA Championship and what he can learn going into a busy stretch of events.
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Woods came into the week having only played three times all year; at Torrey Pines, at the Genesis and the Memorial Tournament, which just is not enough golf. This golf course is a big beast, with the rough thick, and Tiger Woods wasn't quite ready for this type of test.
TPC Harding Park was going to be a big challenge for him. He finished one under par and could've gone a few shots lower, which is a commendable effort given the lack of tournament action.
I don't think he's going to be pleased to walk away from the week with the result he has, having finished outside the top-30, but he'll be pleased to get four rounds in and know what he needs to work on ahead of the upcoming events.
He's going to have a little spurt of tournaments now over the next few weeks. He can go away now, play one of the FedExCup Play-Offs to try and qualify for the Tour Championship, then build heading into the final two majors.
If he only plays one of the first two Play-Off events, then he's going to have to play well to get into the last one. East Lake was where he won a couple of years ago, which started his comeback really as he followed it up with the Masters win the following April, so he has good memories there.
All these events coming up are back over on the East Coast, where the warm conditions will suit his body, so he'll be really happy about that and I think we'll see some good things from Tiger coming up in the weeks ahead.
Woods will need to work out whether he sticks with that new putter or not, but he's got a great thing to lean back on and can go from the same Scotty Cameron that's a quarter of an inch longer to the old Scotty Cameron that's won him 14 of his 15 majors.
There are certainly positives to take from his week and he'll be able to sit on his jet back to Florida knowing how to compete in the last two majors. If he gets good weather at Augusta then he has a great chance, but I think the US Open is his best opportunity this year to add to his major tally.
I think the PGA of America got the course set-up bang-on and provided a fair test for the players, with the golf course looking great and making for a marvellous opening major of the year.
Tiger came out with some interesting comments over the weekend about his chances of reaching Jack Nicklaus' tally. He was basically saying that if they keep on putting these monstrous golf courses out here, with so many players now able to hit the ball further than Woods can, then they're at a distinct advantage.
What he will want is a US Open-style golf course that plays like Pebble Beach or a Merion, that gets quite fiery and where there's no significant advantage in hitting the ball a long way like so many of these big-hitters do.
Tiger is going to be a contender when he gets to play a specific golf course set-up where you tack your way around, like you can at Augusta, where you can get undone by pulling driver all the time.