After ending 30-month title drought with victory in Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods now wants glory at season's first Major
A resurgent Tiger Woods has his sights set on winning a fifth green jacket at next week's Masters after finally ending a 30-month victory drought on the PGA Tour. The 36-year-old won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill by five strokes from Graeme McDowell to lift himself back up to sixth in the world rankings.
On FIre: Tiger Woods plays a shot during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida yesterday. PIC/AFP
But Woods exists purely for major championships -- of which he has won 14 -- and hopes he can maintain his recent upturn in form when he heads back to Augusta. "It's nice (winning before the Masters). I've won here on a few occasions going into Augusta which has always been a good feeling," said Woods.
"I've gone into Augusta with wins and without wins. You're looking for one week, that's all. "Hopefully everything comes together for that one week. I understand how to play Augusta National and it's just a matter of executing the game plan.
"They have made a couple little subtle changes out there but overall the golf course is still basically the same, so I'm looking forward to it. "I still have got some work to do but I'm excited about the things that we have accomplished. It's been very good."
Victory at Bay Hill ended a long wait for Woods -- although he did win the unofficial Chevron World Challenge in December -- and took him to 72 PGA Tour titles. He needs only one more to match the haul by Jack Nicklaus, whose 18 major wins is his primary target, and that would leave just Sam Snead's record of 82 ahead of him. The fact he could equal Nicklaus' tally of PGA Tour wins at Augusta, where he has been so successful in the past, is of less significance than winning the tournament itself to Woods.
"It's nice but I'm looking forward to more of the green jacket part of it than tying Jack in that regard," he added. "Jack's had an amazing career and he's won a bunch of tournaments -- but also he's won more majors than anybody else. So I'm looking forward to my opportunities this year.
"There's four of them (majors) this year and hopefully I can peak at the right times for all four." Woods's absence from the winner's circle has been as a result of a number of factors, with a very public sex scandal and marriage break-up coinciding with injuries.
And he said fitness problems rather than any mental aspect had been the toughest to deal with. "It's by far the injuries because you can't practice," he said. "I haven't been able to put in the time. I can't make a swing change and make all of the adaptations we need to make unless I can practice and I had not been able to do that. "So being on the sideline most of last year was tough."
Tiger's trail 1975: Born on December 30 1979: Shoots 48 for nine holes aged three. 1992: First player to win the US Junior championship twice. Makes US Tour debut. 1996: Turns professional 1997: Becomes youngest winner of the Masters. 2001: Wins his second Masters title to become the first player ever to hold all four professional majors at the same time, dubbed the 'Tiger Slam'. 2005: Wins fourth Masters 2007: Claims 13th major at US PGA. 2008: Wins third US Open despite knee problems. Undergoes knee surgery. 2009: December 2 - As speculation grows claiming Woods had affairs with a number of women, a new statement on his website reveals his regret over "personal sins"' and "transgressions". December 11 - Announces he is taking an "indefinite" break from the sport and apologises for his infidelity to Elin. 2011: February 14 - Fined an undisclosed amount by the European Tour for spitting on a green at the Dubai Desert Classic. July 20 - Parts company with caddie Steve Williams after working together since 1999. December 7: Wins his first tournament for more than two years when he wins the Chevron Challenge in California.