Woods gears up for PGA Championship

95 of the top one 100 golfers in the world are at the Oak Hill course in Rochester, New York for the USPGA Championship.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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New York:

Ninety-five of the top one hundred golfers in the world are at the tree lined Oak Hill course in Rochester, New York for the final major of the year, the USPGA Championship. By all accounts, 2003 has been an unpredictable year. Few would have forecast that the unheralded American Ben Curtis would have won the British Open. Even fewer would have envisaged the world number one, Tiger Woods, without a major to his name. Since 1998, the American has won at least one of the four major championships. At one point, from 2000 to 2001, he captured four consecutive majors. But the USPGA represents his last chance of holding one this year, with many saying that the great Tiger has finally lost a little of his bite. The 27-year-old was quick to refute that claim, pointing out he has always been in contention. "You know each major I have had a chance going into the weekend. Sunday at the Masters I was right there, a couple of shots back. I've been there, I just haven't won. That's the way it goes. I've tried - it's not like I'm not trying out there. Sometimes I can't quite get it done and other times I can. Obviously this year I've come close, I just haven't quite got over the hurdle," said Woods. Undoubtedly, Woods is still the man to beat, and will start as favourite once again. Defending champion Rich Beem and US Open winner Jim Furyk would have no argument with the bookmaker's choice. Yet Wood's apparently diminished authority has given the others a glimmer of hope. Maybe Sergio Garcia can win his first major, or perhaps South African Retief Goosen can get his hands on another major. One factor that all the players will have to contend with is the long, thick rough at Oak Hill. It is sure to penalise those who miss the fairway. (AP)