Tiger Woods: 'Game Is Where It Needs To Be Heading Into US Open'

The 14-time major winner was encouraged by his ball striking at the Memorial

Tiger Woods: 'Game Is Where It Needs To Be Heading Into US Open'

The 14-time major winner fancies his chances at the US Open in two weeks after a strong start to 2018

Tiger Woods: 'Game Is Where It Needs To Be Heading Into US Open'

Tiger Woods closed with a 72 at Muirfield Village to finish in a tie for 23rd place and six strokes off the playoff at the Memorial Tournament.

The 14-time major winner's long game was impressive but it was his putting that let him down.

Woods averaged +2.79 strokes on the field each round with his approaches at the Memorial to lead the field.

He has now averaged over +2.5 Stroked Gained: Approach nine times in his career and won in seven of those weeks.

"Well, I just need to hit better putts. This week I didn't really have, didn't feel comfortable with my lines and my feel was a little bit off. Consequently I missed a bunch of putts," he told ESPN after his round.

"But I hit it really good this week, so that's a positive going into Shinnecock, where ball striking is going to be a must," he continued.

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Woods missed seven putts inside five feet during the week and ended up seven back. For the whole 2006 season he missed nine putts inside five feet.

That shows you just how close he is to winning again - sort the putter out and he could well contend for his 15th major later this month.

Despite the lacklustre final round of level par, which he also posted in the opening round, Tiger is looking forward to the US Open in two weeks.

"Overall my game is where it needs to be heading into the US Open and that's something that's very positive," he said.

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"It's a ball-striker's golf course. You have to hit the golf ball well here. You cannot fake it around this place. Shinnecock, the way it's set up with the rough and the fescue and the 7500, par 70, I mean it's a big, big ballpark.

"This week [The Memorial Tournament], being as soft as it was this week, it's a big ballpark. You had to carry the ball a long way, you weren't going to chase it out there. Shinnecock could dry out by the time we play it, you never know. But if it doesn't, it will be similar to this."

Overall this year on the PGA Tour, Woods ranks 4th in SG: Approach the green, 5th in SG: Tee to green and 10th in overall Strokes Gained.

He is a lowly 120th in SG: Off the tee and 93rd in putting. If he gained 0 strokes in putting and driving at the Memorial, he would have won.

How do you think Woods will get on at the US Open? Let us know your thoughts on our social channels

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x