Tiger Woods seemed in good spirits as he addressed the media at The Ocean Course on Tuesday, following a practice round interrupted by rain, thunder and lightning.
The 7-to-4 odds-on favorite to win this week's tourney, Woods arrived early last week in style on his private yacht Privacy before taking to the course to get a lay of the land, and he had plenty to say about the Pete Dye-designed course.
"One of the things you learn about Pete's golf courses, a lot of it is visual," Woods said. "There's a lot more room out there, whether it's on the fairways or on the greens, than you think. He just makes you look the other way [...] He makes you make a decision off the tees, and he makes you make a decision into the greens and makes you leave the ball in the correct spot.
"The thing about Pete is if you miss your spots, you're going to get penalized severely, and I think that's more so than any other course designer," he added.
Woods noted how soft the course played last Tuesday following two inches of rainfall early in the week. Forecasts indicate it's not going to get much of a chance to dry out until we move much closer to the weekend.
"I don't think they're probably going to play it brutally [long] the first couple days just because we're going to have thunder storms around and it's going to be hard to get everyone around and they want everyone to play a little bit quicker, but I'm sure the weekend it'll be a different story," he said.
When Woods was asked about his historic chase for Jack Nicklaus's record number of major championships, and if he felt more urgency having not won any since 2008, the 14-time major winner sounded confident he had plenty of time left to win four more.
"With the training regimes that we have now and seeing guys play well, you can get on the right golf course and contend," Woods said. "You saw what happened with Tom [Watson] being 59, Greg [Norman] almost did it at Birkdale at 55-ish or something like that, 54. So we can play late in our careers just because of our training."
Tiger also paid homage to his competition.
"There's more players with a chance now," Woods said. "I think, that the fields are so much more deep than they used to be, and it's only going to get that way."
When asked to explain his front-running ways - he has never come from behind to win a Major on Sunday - he simply shrugged and said, "I don't know. It's one of those things where I just haven't done it. But I also like having 14 of them, too. That's not a bad trade-off, either."
As the press conference closed, Woods let out an excited, "Let's play some golf, guys!"
He appears bullish that this week he will close the gap on The Golden Bear by one.
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