Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woods Unveils Grand Design as He Ends Long Title Drought

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Woods Unveils Grand Design as He Ends Long Title Drought

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smith

[bar] TIGER WOODS has set his sights on a Grand Slam of all four of this year's Major titles following his first victory on the American PGA Tour in more than two years.

Woods felt "pure joy" after winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament at Bay Hill in Florida, his first official triumph since the former world No1 became embroiled in a sex scandal in November 2009.

Victory in next week's Masters at Augusta National would bring Woods level with Jack Nicklaus's haul of 73 PGA titles, nine short of record holder Sam Snead, but the 36-year-old insists he has bigger targets in mind.

Already the winner of four Masters, Woods set out his stall for Augusta by saying: "I'm looking forward to the green jacket part of it rather than tying Jack. He's had an amazing career, won a bunch of tournaments and more Majors than anybody else.

"I'm looking forward to my opportunities this year. There are four of them [Majors] and hopefully I can peak at the right time for all four of them."

Should Woods win the Masters, the US Open, the Open Championship and the US Championship, he would end 2012 tied with Nicklaus on 18 majors. Such a run is, of course, unlikely but then nothing seems to be beyond this extraordinary sportsman.

Many seasoned observers had written off Woods following the revelations that led to the break up of his marriage. Not only did he subsequently suffer a drastic loss of form but his body seemed to be failing him, too, with injuries forcing him to miss two majors last year.

Only a fortnight ago there was concern that Woods might even miss the Masters after he withdrew from the final round of the Cadillac Championship in Miami with a strained Achilles tendon.

But 923 days since his last win on the PGA Tour, Woods looked as fit as a fiddle at Bay Hill as he carded a finalround two-under par 70 for a 13-under total of 275 that beat Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell into second place by five shots.

Asked how it felt to be a winner again, Woods replied: "It was just pure joy. It felt good. This is progression, we're heading in the right direction. …

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