Tiger Woods admits he has plenty of homework to do as he looks to claim a 15th major title in the US PGA Championship this week.
Woods was among the players due to compete at Bellerive Country Club in 2001 when the WGC-American Express Championship was cancelled due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The 42-year-old also missed the 2008 BMW Championships at the same venue due to injury and was only able to play five holes in practice due to thunderstorms before his pre-tournament press conference yesterday.
“I literally haven’t set foot on this golf course since that week in 2001,” Woods said. “I didn’t get up here pre-British Open and [Monday] I took the day off.
“[Yesterday] we only got in five holes and didn’t really get a chance to see a whole lot, so I’ll have to do some more homework [today] and get a good feel for what’s going on for the rest of the week.
“I needed that day off. I spent a few times in the ice bath just trying to get some inflammation down and just trying to get ready for the rest of the week.
“There’s going to be certain days that I’m just not going to have the speed and the flexibility and the movement that I once did. I’m 42 now and I’ve had four back surgeries, so things are going to be different from day to day, and it’s just about managing it.”
Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April last year and admits he feels “blessed” simply to be able to compete again, but has already failed to convert several chances to claim his first victory since 2013.
The 14-time major winner finished second behind Paul Casey in the Valspar Championship in March and was in contention at Bay Hill the following week before driving out of bounds on the 16th hole of the final round.
Most significantly Woods also led the Open at Carnoustie with eight holes to play only to double bogey the 11th and drop another shot on the next as playing partner Francesco Molinari went on to become the first Italian to lift the Claret Jug.
“To go from missing the cut in the US Open to contending and at one point leading the Open on the back nine it felt good. It felt very familiar,” Woods added.
“Unfortunately I made two mistakes there on 11 and 12 and it cost me a chance to win the championship.
“I felt like I was in control of what I was doing, and that felt good. Unfortunately, I just didn’t do it.”