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Tiger looking to add Players to his collection

If there's one tournament Tiger Woods has not won that he would like to, it's the Players Championship.

"Probably, because this is one of the best fields in all of golf and it's a symbol throughout the year," said Woods, who will seek his second title in as many weeks, beginning Thursday.

A year after losing the event by a stroke to Hal Sutton, Woods heads an elite international field eyeing the $1.08 million top prize at the $6 million event.

After his practice round Wednesday, Woods admitted that, of the few events that have eluded him, the Players Championship is the one he would like to win.

"It's the best field we play all throughout the spring," he said. "To win on a golf course that is extremely demanding, any player would take satisfaction out of that."

Woods spoke of the trying conditions at the TPC at Sawgrass' Stadium course. In addition to the wind, the field will have to deal with thicker rough and decreased amounts of chipping areas.

"On this golf course, it's really hard to win when you're not playing well," said Woods, the world's top-ranked player.

Woods will be chasing the biggest title that he hasn't won yet. Allsport.

Woods has been playing well all season, ranking third of the PGA Tour in scoring average and posting four top-10 finishes in six events, but he broke through for his first win of the year last week.

After winning nine PGA Tour titles, including three majors, last season alone, Woods defended his "slow" start to 2001.

"It's hard to keep improving on that and keep winning all the time," he said. "I think the key in order to win tournaments is keep putting yourself there."

Woods put himself there last year but lost this event by a shot to Sutton, who parred each of the final six holes on Monday to win the title. Rain had suspended part of the final round.

At 41 years, 10 months and 28 days, Sutton became the oldest winner of the Players Championship. Also the 1983 victor, he joined Jack Nicklaus (1974, 1976, 1978), Fred Couples (1984, 1996) and Steve Elkington (1991, 1997) as the only multiple winners of the event.

This year, Sutton will have to defend his title against one of the most impressive fields the PGA Tour sees all year. The elite Europeans do not play as many PGA Tour events during the summer, when their best tournaments are being played.

"Right now, it's probably the best chance at getting the best field," Woods admitted.

The field includes Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie of England, Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Scotland's Paul Lawrie, all of whom play primarily on the European PGA Tour.


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