Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Tiger Woods  (Getty Images)
Tiger Woods (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods hopes he has another ten years to win Major Championships and beat Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 but admits he will need plenty of help along the way.

Woods told Nicklaus "I’m done" at the Champions Dinner ahead of the 2017 Masters Tournament but flew to London later that night to see a specialist, subsequently underwent career saving spinal fusion surgery and won his 15th Major title at Augusta National in April.

"Hypothetically if I give myself another ten years that’s 40 Majors," Woods said ahead of this week’s U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links, where he won by an incredible 15 shots in 2000.

"The trick is can I keep myself healthy and strong enough considering what my body has been through? That's where I need help with all my trainers and physios and workout regimes, and hopefully, I can make that happen."

Woods did not compete between the Masters and the US PGA Championship, where he was unable to practise the day before the first round due to illness.

The former World Number One declined to reveal the nature of his problems but asked if he was "physically sick or maybe just not as limber", replied: "All the above. I was in rough shape."

After taking a week off Woods returned to action with a tie for ninth place in the Memorial Tournament on the US PGA Tour and feels his game is close to where he needs it to be to contend for a 16th Major title.

"Augusta I was right where I needed to be,” Woods added. “Bethpage, a different story. I was good going into the week, unfortunately just didn't feel well.

"And 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."

This week I feel like I'm trending in the right direction - Tiger Woods

Woods was the only player to finish in red figures in the 2000 edition of this event, his 12 under par total leaving him 15 shots ahead of Ernie Els and Miguel Ángel Jiménez, a record for any Major Championship.

"It's crazy it's been 19 years," he added. "I still remember most of the shots I hit that week. It was just one of those weeks where I don't know how I pulled it off but on seaside poa annua (greens), I never missed a putt inside ten feet for a week.

"It happened to be a very special week. I made everything. And not only that, I was hitting it well. And when I did miss it, I missed it in all the correct spots. So I had the best angles.

"And again, to be able to putt on greens this steep and bumpy as they get in the afternoon, and not miss a putt under ten feet was saying something."

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