Tiger Woods Says 2020 PGA Championship Is What He's Been 'Gearing Up For'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

Tiger Woods stands on the putting green during practice for the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Tiger Woods will have just three opportunities to add to his major victory total in 2020, and he has been "gearing up" for the first chance at the PGA Championship

"This is what I've been gearing up for," he said, per Bob Harig of ESPN. "We've got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us. The rough is up. The fairways are much more narrow." 

Harig noted the PGA Championship, which starts Thursday, was rescheduled from May because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Open was canceled, the U.S. Open will take place in September prior to the Masters in November.

"I've been trying to prepare for the three," Woods said. "Trying to figure out my schedule and training programs and playing prep and the things I need to work on for each major venue. It's just a different calendar order and different time of year."

Woods will surely be looking for a better performance than he turned in at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, when he tied for 40th place.

It was his first PGA Tour event since the season was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Harig pointed out he "dealt with back stiffness during a second-round 76."

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Woods expressed some concern about being able to stay loose while playing in colder weather in San Francisco at TPC Harding Park.

"I think that for me when it's cooler like this it's just make sure that my core stays warm, layering up properly," he said. "I know I won't have the same range of motion as I would back home in Florida, where it's 95 [degrees] every day. That's just the way it is."

Woods does have a history of success at the course, including a victory at the WGC-American Express Championship in 2005 and a 5-0 mark at the 2009 Presidents Cup.

At this point in his career, there isn't much the 15-time major champion hasn't achieved in his career. He tied Sam Snead for the most PGA Tour victories in a career with 82 but is still three major wins behind Jack Nicklaus' all-time mark.

Closing that gap will require Woods turning around his recent history at the PGA Championship.

Despite a second-place finish in 2018, he has missed the cut in three of the last four editions of the event and has not won it since 2007. It is a far cry from a stretch of dominance that saw him win his four PGA Championship crowns in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007 during his prime, but he has been gearing up for another title this year.