Woods says his game is where it needs to be heading into the US Open, but could he actually win his 16th major at Pebble Beach?
Can Tiger Woods Win The US Open?
Considering how it wasn't that long ago that none of us knew whether we would see Tiger Woods properly compete and swing a club again, it is a remarkable comeback when you acknowledge that we are asking this question - can Tiger Woods win the US Open?
Let's take a look at this in simple terms - he has already won a Major this year at The Masters and his record around Pebble Beach is excellent after winning in 2000 by a record 15 strokes, and coming tied-4th in 2010. On the basis of those two things it probably has a simple answer and lets not forget this is Tiger we are talking about.
But then again there are some things working against him. He was picked to compete and perform at the PGA Championship earlier this year at Bethpage Black, another course he is imperious around. However he missed the cut after two days of struggling.
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Additionally his driving off the tee is suspect. Length is not the issue, he averages just under 300 yards which is sufficient in this day and age. But his accuracy and his occasional ability to lose the ball both ways could cost him. At Pebble you simply have to hit the fairway because the greens are so small and the margins of error so narrow. If he misses fairways then his ability to keep the big scores off the card will be greatly hindered.
However Pebble Beach is not the longest course these guys have to play on the PGA Tour so it would not be surprising to see Woods hit longer irons and fairway woods for accuracy. When you combine this with his incredible Greens in Regulation percentage - he ranks first on the PGA Tour with 72.8% - then he could show some of the form that led him to victory in 2000.
Finally it would be remiss for us not to mention injury concerns. Who knows what could happen with his back and knees? A dodgy lie or exerting too much effort into one shot could cause problems for the 43-year-old.
Speaking before the tournament recently Tiger said of his health;
"I judge it on each lie and how much force I can put into it and whether I can get away with it. Or sometimes trees are in my way and I've got to slow it down. It's putting on the brakes. It's the massive deceleration. I can accelerate the club as fast as you want, but when the grass decelerates it, then it puts all that training you have to do in the gym on your core and protecting, because that is what's going to happen."
But bearing this in mind, Tiger is still positive about his game heading into the week saying;
"This week I feel like I'm trending in the right direction. I need one more day of prep. I want to see the golf course when it's a little bit closer to game time. I don't want to -- I know they're holding it back. But I just want to see how much are they going to let it go and show us how it's going to be come Thursday."
The 15-time major winner has won three US Opens and finished tied 4th the last time a Major was held at Pebble Beach, the 2010 US Open.
Given his past record at the course he certainly looks a contender and the bookies agree - he's around 11/1 to win.
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A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly.
Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes.
He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.
Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel.
He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask.
Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five.
Sam's What's In The Bag:
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees)
Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond
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