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Tiger Woods with limited optimism: ‘Wish my game was sharper’ entering PGA

Tiger still feels like he can win golf tournaments
Tiger Woods discusses his mentality and the state of his game heading into the PGA Championship, adding that he still feels like he has the ability to win golf tournaments.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – To be fair, the days of limitless expectations when it comes to Tiger Woods’ competitive outlook are over, but even by today’s standard his own assessment of his chances at this week’s PGA Championship were underwhelming.

“My body’s OK,” Woods shrugged Tuesday at Valhalla. “It is what it is. I wish my game was a little bit sharper. Again, I don’t have a lot of competitive reps so I am having to rely on my practice sessions and getting stuff done either at home or here on-site.”

Woods has come by his subdued take honestly as a result of injury and indifferent results. His last start was at the Masters where he made the cut, which was viewed by many as an accomplishment, but finished last in the field of 60 players who advanced to the weekend. He also hasn’t played 72 holes at the PGA Championship since 2020, which makes his pessimism understandable.

“I need to be ready mentally and physically come Thursday, and these days of practicing, learning on the golf course, that’s one of the reasons I came up here on Sunday was to knock off some of the work that I have to do in charting greens, get all that stuff done early, so I can focus on literally playing and plotting my way around,” he said.

Woods won the 2000 PGA at Valhalla and he was reminded that when the championship returned to Louisville in ’14 he was also struggling with back issues.

“At that time I was maybe one back procedure into it. Now it’s a hell of a lot more than that number,” Woods said. “Coming into 2014, I wasn’t feeling very good. But I’m always going to feel soreness and stiffness in my back, but that’s OK. Just need other body parts to start feeling better.”