PEBBLE BEACH – A lot has modified since Tiger Woods romped to a document 15-stroke victory on the 2000 U.S. Open at scenic Pebble Seashore.
Within the ensuing 19 years, Woods’ physique has been battered and surgically repaired, gear has improved and his hairline is receding. Nevertheless, the Pebble Seashore Golf Hyperlinks has remained just about unchanged and so has Woods’ technique because the U.S. Open returns to the breath-taking coastal California course.
“That half actually hasn’t modified that a lot,” mentioned Woods throughout his pre-tournament press convention on Tuesday. “As a result of the golf ball goes additional than it did again in 2000, I’m slower than I used to be in 2000.
“I’m about the identical distance, so the golf course actually doesn’t play that a lot in a different way for me.
“It’s only a matter of placing the ball in the proper spots.”
Earlier than issues flip critical with the beginning of first-round play on Thursday, Woods allowed himself a pleasing stroll down reminiscence lane as he recalled what’s arguably the best efficiency within the sport’s historical past.
On the top of his powers, a then 24-year-old Woods demolished the sector with a event for the ages. He received his first U.S. Open by what stays the most important successful margin in main championship golf.
“It’s loopy. It’s been 19 years,” reminisced Woods. “I nonetheless keep in mind a lot of the pictures I hit that week.
“It was simply a kind of weeks the place I don’t know the way I pulled it off, however on seaside poa annua, I by no means missed a putt inside 10 ft for every week.
“It occurred to be a really particular week. I made all the pieces.
“And never solely that, I used to be hitting it effectively. And once I did miss it, I missed it in all the proper spots.”
Now 43, Woods has reached the stage of his profession the place every victory carries extra significance.
In April, the former-world primary accomplished considered one of sport’s nice all-time comebacks when he ended an 11-year main title drought with an inspiring win on the Masters.
A win on Sunday would give Woods his 82nd PGA Tour title and go away him two shy of Jack Nicklaus’s main document of 18.
Even when he fails to realize both of these milestones this week, a buoyant Woods reckons time continues to be on his facet with 10 years and 40 majors left to realize his Holy Grail.
“If I maintain progressing how I’m bodily and the way I’m getting higher and higher bodily the final couple of years, I simply want to provide myself probabilities,” mentioned Woods. “Hypothetically, let’s say I give myself 10 years.
“That’s 40 main championships. That’s a whole lot of majors.”