Woods gets his practice in early
World number one takes to the course at Oak Hill just after 6am as he prepares from US PGA bid
Tiger Woods chips to the second green during a practice round for the US PGA Championship on Monday. Photograph: Jeff Haynes/Reuters
World number one Tiger Woods today resumed his early morning major routine ahead of the 95th US PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
Woods’ tendency to start his practice rounds almost as soon as the sun is up has upset spectators in the past, with customers paying for tickets but often finding that he had finished and left the premises before they had arrived.
But the 14-time major winner was prevented from doing so in the British Open at Muirfield last month, being forced to follow the rules which stated that the course was not open until 7am after attempting to tee off 10 minutes early.
Woods made light of the incident at the time and had no such problems at Oak Hill, teeing off alone at 6.22am local time and starting from the 10th tee having played the front nine with Steve Stricker on Monday afternoon.
The 37-year-old has not won a major since the 2008 US Open but comes into the event in the best possible form, winning his eighth WGC Bridgestone Invitational by seven shots on Sunday after a 61 in the second round.
Woods has now won the last event he has played before a major eight times in the past four years, but the previous seven have not yielded a longed-for 15th major to edge him closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18.
Two behind Lee Westwood going into the final round at Muirfield, Woods struggled to a closing 74 to finish five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson, whose victory continued the good recent run for highly ranked players in the majors.
Since Darren Clarke and Keegan Bradley won the last two majors of 2011 when ranked 111th and 108th in the world respectively, the lowest ranked winner of a major has been Ernie Els, who was 40th when he won the British Open at Lytham.
And in 2013, all three major champions have come from inside the world’s top 10, with Adam Scott (seventh) winning the Masters, Justin Rose (fifth) claiming the US Open and Mickelson — now second — also fifth before lifting the Claret Jug.