About Us Contact Us Advertise Newsletter

Golf news, golf reports, golf headlines, golf updates,golf features

Golf Today > News Archive > 2006 Archive >


Tiger Woods returns to action this week

Tiger Woods will break a habit this week for only the second time in almost a decade by launching his PGA Tour campaign at the Buick Invitational in San Diego.

Eight times over the last nine years, the game's leading player has started his golfing year at the season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii.

The sole exception came in 2003 when he broke the trend for the first time while recovering from knee surgery that took place in mid-December of 2002.

He ended up missing the first five events of the 2003 season before returning to action at the Buick Invitational.

The rest of the time, though, Woods has kicked off at the winners-only tournament in Kapalua, Hawaii, with the Buick following either second, third or fourth in his schedule for the season.

Like 2003, this year is different. The 10-times major winner decided to spend more time with his family over the Christmas and New Year period and delay his opening event by three weeks.

A lesser player might view this move with a huge measure of suspicion, perhaps even with self-doubt, as sportsmen and women can be very superstitious people who never like to change a successful recipe.

Yet Woods is a very different and special case. The best player since Jack Nicklaus, and some would argue the best of all time, Woods is very much his own man.

Meticulous in his approach to every aspect of the game, he would never rush into a decision, especially with his carefully crafted playing schedule.

At the end of a highly successful 2005 campaign highlighted by victories at the U.S. Masters and the British Open, he made it clear he needed a rest and some quality time with his family.

"It's been a long year and it's taken its toll," he said. "I'm just looking forward to putting the clubs away for a while. I probably won't remember my birthday."

Woods turned 30 on December 30.

He is now about to embark on his 10th full season as a playing professional with a glittering curriculum vitae behind him and the likelihood of many more records and majors to come.

Already the winner of 46 PGA Tour titles, he ranks first on the all-time PGA Tour money list with career earnings of $55,770,760.

"I can't believe I have been out here for almost 10 years," Woods said.

"Granted, my body feels it from all the wear and tear of competing and travelling, but the time has gone by quickly.

"Most golfers are just starting to reach their peaks in their thirties," he added. "Hopefully, that's the case for me."

Woods has made no secret of his burning desire to go past the record haul of 18 major titles piled up by Nicklaus. He lies third in the all-time standings with only Walter Hagen (11) also ahead of him.

"If I play the way I know I can play, I think I can get there (to 18)," he said.

"But I have a lot of work ahead of me, and a lot of things I need to do to make myself peak at the right times and get all the things coming together.

"Winning major championships is what I want to do for the rest of my career."

For the moment, though, he has the Buick Invitational to defend at Torrey Pines this week and the omens are certainly good for him.

His record at both the Mercedes Championships and the Buick Invitational is impressive, to say the least.

Since 1996, he has played at the Mercedes eight times, winning the title twice and never finishing outside the top 10.

He has won the Buick three times in the last eight years, with the worst of his five other starts a tie for 10th.

Starting a PGA Tour season at the Mercedes Championships or the Buick Invitational probably does not matter one jot for the success rate of Tiger Woods.

January 23, 2006


Golf Today Classifieds

Bookmark page with:
What are these Email This Page Subscribe Follow us on Twitter Top of Page
News Tours Rankings Tuition Course Directory Equipment Asian Travel Notice Board

© Golftoday.co.uk 1996-2014