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Tiger sets sights on Grand Slam

Tiger Woods has the Tiger Slam.

Now he wants to win them all in one year.

Sunday was a good start.

Woods' third Masters victory and his second in a row sets the table for talk of a Grand Slam in one year going into the U.S. Open from June 13-16 at Bethpage in New York.

"Well, I've done four in a row before, but it would be nice to do it four in a row in the same year," said Woods, 26, who won his sixth major in his last 10 tries. "It would be different than how I did it the last time."

On Sunday, Woods more or less stayed in neutral, while the rest of the field could only find reverse.

Six of the top seven players in the world were on the leaderboard, with Woods and 2001 U.S. Open champ Retief Goosen tied for the lead. But none of his main contenders made a run, with Ernie Els' chances ending in Rae's Creek on No. 13 with a triple-bogey, and Vijay Singh's going splash twice on No. 15, when he made a quadruple- bogey.

Woods birdied two of the first three holes, and when Goosen bogeyed twice, Woods had a three-shot lead over Singh standing on No. 4 tee. It only got closer than that for one hole, when Woods bogeyed No. 5, but he responded with a chip-in for birdie from behind the green on the par-3 sixth and that was it.

Goosen made a couple of late birdies to get close and finish second. Phil Mickelson and Jose Maria Olazabal each shot 1-under, just as Woods did, to finish third and fourth, respectively.

"Like Nicklaus, like Palmer, he's playing great golf," Davis Love III said of Woods. "We're not putting it to him. There are guys who can do it but just aren't doing it. I heard someone say something's going on with him that's not going on with us."

The few who wondered if Augusta National adding 285 yards to its layout was done for "Tiger-proofing" got their answer.

It "proofed" nearly everyone in the rest of the field except him.

"The golf course is perfect for him," Nick Price said. "It's like Jack (Nicklaus) in his day. Jack loved this course.

"When you hit it high and long, it is a huge difference. He has a two-club advantage over almost everybody. And he is playing great golf."

Some have said too big of a deal was made about the Tiger Slam Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA and 2001 Masters to hold all four trophies at the same time. Still, no one had done that since Bobby Jones in 1930. Jones won the U.S. and British Opens and the U.S. and British Amateurs, then considered the four majors.

"Besides Jack Nicklaus, Tiger is the best player," Goosen said.

"I think give him a couple more years and I think Tiger will be even greater than Jack Nicklaus.

It's just a matter of time."

Even before his career began, Woods had singled out Nicklaus' records as his goal. The 62-year-old Nicklaus, who won 18 professional majors, didn't complete a Grand Slam in one year, but he had an opportunity back in 1972 when he won The Masters and the U.S. Open. Lee Trevino then beat Nicklaus by a shot to win the British Open.

"That's the way you play," Nicklaus, who does have the career Grand Slam, said of focusing on The Masters. "I always started the season with building my game to The Masters because if you didn't win The Masters, you couldn't win them all."

That's exactly what Woods wants to do.


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