Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tiger's Happiest Hunting Ground; World No1 Claims the Best Is Yet to Come as He Chases 10th Major Title at the Scene of His Record-Breaking 2000 Open Triumph

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tiger's Happiest Hunting Ground; World No1 Claims the Best Is Yet to Come as He Chases 10th Major Title at the Scene of His Record-Breaking 2000 Open Triumph

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMITH

TIGER WOODS today issued a double warning the rest of the field in the 134th Open Championship at St Andrews didn't want to hear. Yes, he said, he can play better than when he triumphed at the Old Course in 2000. And at the age of 29, with nine career major titles already secured, Woods insisted his best was yet to come.

He was certainly in a league of his own when he won the Millennium Open.

Rounds of 67, 66, 67 and 69 left him with a 19-under-par total of 269 and a mammoth victory margin of eight shots.

Remarkably, Woods failed to land his ball in any of the 112 bunkers over the course of four superb rounds.

Ominously, his first two practice rounds this week were bunker free and the American superstar insisted: "I can do better than last time."

Speaking ahead of Thursday's opening round, when he will go out with Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal and Australia's Robert Allenby, Woods said: "You just play the game for what it is and for what the hole gives you.

"Last time there were certain holes I was aggressive on, this year I may not be so aggressive on those holes because the wind may switch. Last time I was conservative on certain holes, this time I may be more aggressive on those holes.

"What I do know is that I am swinging well coming into the event. I've had good finishes in my last three tournaments, which was nice. Now it is just a matter of building on what I've been doing."

Woods's haul of nine majors leaves him nine in arrears of the record 18 professional major titles won by Jack Nicklaus who, at the age of 65, plays his last competitive tournament this week.

As a boy Woods had all those majors pinned to a wall and he declared it his ambition to overhaul his hero. And he claimed he remains on track to challenge Nicklaus's target. Woods said: "I look at is as a career. In order for me to ever have the opportunity to be lucky enough to either tie, or come near, or pass Jack, whatever it may be, is going to take an entire career. …

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