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For Tiger its majors that count

World number one Tiger Woods, winner of nine of his last ten tournaments, said on Wednesday that despite all his recent wins it is victories in majors that count when a player's career is recalled.

Woods picked up his 64th PGA Tour win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday and can move above Ben Hogan in the all-time rankings with victory in the WGC-CA Championship starting on Thursday.

But already his mind has turned towards next month's U.S Masters at Augusta.

"This week is a new week and I'm trying to get this one and make sure my game is right for Augusta. As I've always said, you want to peak four times a year and I want everything going positively that way," said Woods after practice on the Blue Monster course at the Doral Golf resort in Miami.

Woods has won seven tournaments in a row - five of them PGA Tour events - and has not been beaten since September.

The Masters is the first major of the season and Woods said that is in the majors where legacies are made.

"You can win every tournament for the entire year but if you go 0 for 4 in the entire year in the major championships then, well it's just that you don't really get remembered for the number of wins in a career.

"It is the number of wins in major championships. Those are the biggest events. If you win one major a year, it turns a good year into a great year.

"That's one of the reasons why I think we as players put so much emphasis on those major championships. They mean so much, and not only to us but in the historical sense," he said.

Woods has won 13 majors and was last week tipped by Arnold Palmer to become the first player to win a Grand Slam of all four majors - the Masters, U.S Open, British Open and PGA Championship - in one calendar year.

There are no signs though that Woods's rivals are losing heart as a result of his domination.

American Sean O'Hair, who played Sunday's final round at Bay Hill with Woods, said standards are being forced up by the 'Tiger factor'.

"When Tiger came out, '97, '96, look at the level of how guys were playing then and look at it now. I mean, it's night and day. He has made us step up a notch.

"The players out here are better because of him. I honestly believe that. He's going to obviously keep doing what he's doing. He's going to keep dominating.

"But we're not going to sit there and lay down and say, well, that's just the way it is. We're going to try and get better and try and compete with him. I mean, that's our jobs," he said. 

The chasing pack were at least given a glimmer of hope when Woods was asked whether he thought he would lose a tournament this year.

"I'm sure it will happen eventually," he said.

 

March 20, 2008




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