Dyson hoping to find missing link in last major of year

Simon Dyson believes the linksy feel of Kiawah Island will suit his eye this week at the USPGA Championship.

The 34-year-old from Malton may be without a win this season but he heads to the final major of the year in strong form.

He has made the weekend eight times out of the last nine tournaments and finished no lower than 36th.

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Last week, his 16th-place finish at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational netted him $90,000.

He also had a strong Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes and the final major of the year has often brought him most success of all the game’s defining tournaments.

“I really can’t put my finger on why I seem to fair better at this one than others,” said Dyson.

“I just enjoy it a lot more, it’s in the height of the season and it’s great.”

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He stormed through the field to finish sixth at Southern Hills in the heat of Tulsa five years ago, and also made up ground on the final day at Whistling Straits in 2010 to finish 12th.

Whistling Straights was on the banks of Wisconsin, while Kiawah Island is a similarly unique test by the sea, and something you don’t see very often in American golf.

“Links courses suit my game and I’m hoping I can prosper out here,” said Dyson.

“I like the challenge these courses provide.

“And obviously Kiawah Island is famous for that memorable Ryder Cup (1991) so it should be a great atmosphere.”

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Dyson plays alongside America’s Scott Verplank and South Korean KJ Choi in the first two rounds.

Tiger Woods has come a long way since this time last year – but not far enough, as far as he is concerned.

When the former world No 1 missed the cut by six shots at the USPGA Championship last August he looked a million miles away from the player who had won 14 majors.

He remains four behind Jack Nicklaus’ record, but after finishes of 40th in the Masters, 21st in the US Open and third in the Open – plus three other tournament wins – things are certainly looking up again.

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“I’m pleased at the way I was able to play at certain times and obviously disappointed that I did not win,” Woods said.

“I’ve played in three major championships this year and I didn’t win any of them. That’s the goal.

“I was there at the US Open after two days (he was joint leader) and I was right there with a chance at the British Open.

“Things have progressed, but not winning a major championship doesn’t feel very good.

“Jack didn’t finish his until he was 46, so if you go by that timetable I’ve got 10 more years.

“Four more majors is a lot, but I’ve got plenty of time.”