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Woods looking to win in home town at last

World golf No. 1 Tiger Woods had barely seen his final-round rally fall short to John Daly's slump-breaking win here Sunday before he pondered breaking a drought of his own.

Woods fired a 3-under 69 here Sunday at the PGA Buick Invitational, sharing 10th on 280 after 72 holes but two strokes shy of the playoff won by Daly, his first U.S. title in a decade.

But next week, Woods takes aim at breaking his jinx at his hometown tournament, the Nissan Open at Riviera Country Club in suburban Los Angeles.

Woods, who made his PGA debut there at age 16 as an amateur, is 0-for-6 at Riviera. It is the only course on the PGA Tour Woods has played three or more times without taking a title.

"I actually love it," Woods said. "I've had my chances there to win and just haven't been able to do it. Who knows? This week could be the week."

Woods lost a playoff to Billy Mayfair at the tournament in 1998, but it was played at nearby Valencia Country Club. Riviera was hosting the U.S. Senior Open that year.

The best Riviera result for Woods was a share of second in 1999, two strokes behind winner Ted Tryba.

"It's the best-designed course that we play all year," Woods said. "It's hard, but it's fair. It's right there in front of you. There are no hidden surprises. Every bunker is right there.

"There is only one blind tee shot, which is 18. There are no bunkers up there. You know where the fairway is. You just have to go out there and hit it."

The par-4 finishing hole has been lengthened some 25 yards to more than 470 and the tee box was lowered five yards.

"It was hard enough as it was," Woods said. "The tee shot is difficult, but the second shot is unbelievably difficult. If they ever get any kind of Santa Ana wind blowing there, forget it. If it rains next week it could be unbelievably difficult."

Jack Nicklaus, Woods' boyhood idol, never won at Riviera either, losing most famously there to Hal Sutton by one stroke in the 1983 PGA Championship.

"I love when we get a golf course where single digits (under par) wins," said Woods. "That's the way it should be. I don't like tournaments where you have to go out and shoot 25-under par and you know that going into the week.

"Obviously, Riviera is a very difficult golf course. If they've gotten the golf course dry like they did down here, it could be a challenge to keep the ball on the greens."

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