Tiger Woods heads into Thursday’s Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament confident he still has what it takes to clinch victory.
Nicklaus said Tuesday Woods would need to remember how to close out a victory if he is to add to his collection of 14 major championship titles.
Former world number one Woods, who last competed at the Memorial in 2015, fully agrees it is a barrier he needs to overcome ahead of teeing-up at Muirfield Village this week.
“I know I do need to have an understanding what it takes to finish it off and get a ‘W'” said Woods. “I’ve been on runs before where getting ‘Ws’ came pretty easy and there were stretches where it was very difficult.
“To me, this is a little bit different coming back off not really playing for a while and I remember the feelings when I was down at the Valspar when I had a chance to win there and I finished second and it really felt comfortable.
“The last few times that I’ve had the chance to be up there on the board I felt comfortable so hopefully I can just shoot the low round when I need it.”
Woods tees off this week in suburban Columbus, Ohio just two weeks shy of the 10-year anniversary of his 14th and last Major Championship success at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines in California.
That victory came after an injured Woods battled through a gruelling 18-hole playoff virtually on one leg.
Woods revealed on Wednesday that only a small group of his entourage were aware of the severity of his injured knee during that win.
“I only walked two nine-hole practice rounds at Torrey before teeing-up and not many knew what I was going through,” he said.
“There were my surgeons, my trainers, my coach, Elin (then wife), so there were not a lot of people and maybe just a little more than half-a-dozen.”
Fellow American Justin Thomas returns to competition teeing-up for a first time as the new world number one but wondering what all the fuss is about.
“I enjoyed it for a couple of days knowing I had gone to number one when I had the two weeks off but after that it was over with and it was not as though I was really thinking about it,” said Thomas.
“It’s odd because nothing comes with it (Going to No. 1 in the world) like when you win a tournament you get a trophy and you get a lot of money. You do a press conference afterwards whereas I was in the middle of flying home when DJ (Dustin Johnson) finished and I had been told I was now No. 1 so I was like ‘okay’,” he added.
Thomas heads a field featuring eight of the world’s top-10 – Dustin Johnson (2), Justin Rose (3), Jordan Spieth (5), Rory McIlroy (6), Rickie Fowler (7), Jason Day (8) and Hideki Matsuyama (10).