Tiger Woods believes he can be competitive into his 50s -- just don’t expect him to maintain his current No. 3 ranking in PGA Tour total driving distance when he anticipates courses will only get longer.
“Absolutely, 100 percent agree with that,” Woods, 36, told sports talk radio in Washington, D.C., on Monday about whether fans should look for his name atop leader boards after he reaches the half-century mark. “It just has to be on the right golf course. It can’t be, at that age -- well, by the time I’m at that age, it’ll be some golf courses over 8,000 yards. It’s probably not going to be at one of those; it’s probably going to be at a shorter golf course like you’d find at a British Open.”
Speaking with 106.7 The Fan as part of the media build-up to June’s AT&T National tourney at Congressional Country Club in nearby Bethesda, Md., Woods pointed to 59-year-old Tom Watson’s near-victory at Turnberry in 2009 as a prime example of where and how he planned to chalk up the Ws into his dotage.
“It was like the perfect Open,” he said about the conditions under which Watson almost became the oldest major champion in history. “It was howling, it was a golf course he had won on and knew how to play and it was playing very quick.... You can certainly see a certain player playing into their 50s and being successful on a certain venue. You can’t do it on all venues, there’s no doubt. Some ballparks are just too big.”
Woods noted that his confidence level was “growing” after he “figured out some things that happened” at the Masters, where he carded his worst score ever as a professional and finished in a share of 40th place.
“I fell back into my old motor patterns at Augusta, how to shape shots,” he told the hosts of The Sports Junkies. “I’ve gone through that before and I’m just fighting through it.”
As always, the former No. 1 said he was psyched about how much better his “compression” and “trajectory” were.
“Things that we’ve [he and swing coach Sean Foley] been working on are starting to come together,” he said. “I’ve been close and I’ve just got to keep working, keep getting more efficient at what we’re doing.”