PGA Championship: Can Tiger Woods contend for sixteenth main victory at Southern Hills this week? | Golf Information

Can Tiger Woods contend for more major honors at Southern Hills? Brandel Chamblee, Brad Faxon, Robert Lee and Jamie Spence discuss Woods’ hopes of winning the Wanamaker Trophy; watch live throughout the week on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 05/18/22 5:02pm


Can Tiger Woods challenge for a 16th major title this week at Southern Hills?

Tiger Woods returns to action this week at the PGA Championship, but what can we expect from the 15-time major champion at Southern Hills?

Woods finished 47th at The Masters last month, his first top-level appearance in nearly 17 months after a career-threatening car crash, with the former world No 1 likening his return to “climbing Everest”.

The 46-year-old admitted the aftermath of his efforts at the opening men’s major of the year “was not fun”, but believes he will find it easier to play courses which are not as undulating as Augusta National.

Woods has been paired with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the first two rounds at Southern Hills, the venue where he won the most recent of his four PGA Championship titles in 2007, with Brandel Chamblee believing it’s still possible for Woods to add to his major tally.

Tiger Woods practices ahead of the PGA Championship.  Woods has not played competitively since finishing 47th at The Masters last month

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Tiger Woods practices ahead of the PGA Championship. Woods has not played competitively since finishing 47th at The Masters last month

Tiger Woods practices ahead of the PGA Championship. Woods has not played competitively since finishing 47th at The Masters last month

“I don’t know if his body is ever going to let him fully do what his mind is capable of, but under the right circumstances it’s not unusual for these great players to have their renaissance moments,” Chamblee told Golf Channel. “You could say Tiger has already his renaissance moment at the 2019 Masters but here is back, he looks like he’s moving around fine, the swing looks great and the ball speed his up to 175mph.

Victory is now a possibility for Tiger again. Not just one, but two or three. You could see that happening and you could see him doing it under the right circumstances at a major championship.

With Tiger Woods set to compete in this week's PGA Championship, check out highlights from his four previous wins at the tournament

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With Tiger Woods set to compete in this week’s PGA Championship, check out highlights from his four previous wins at the tournament

With Tiger Woods set to compete in this week’s PGA Championship, check out highlights from his four previous wins at the tournament

“I don’t think Tiger is going to have the luxury of what he had in 2007, he’s going to have to hit that driver more, but I do think that the driver swing he has right now is a better swing than the one he had in 2007.”

A new Tiger?

Woods made an impressive start at The Masters with a one-under 71, putting him in touch with the early lead, before fading with a second-round 74 and back-to-back 78s over the weekend, but former PGA Tour player Brad Faxon is backing him for another strong opening day in Tulsa.

Former professional golfer Brad Faxon and Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir take on the challenging test of Southern Hills' greens ahead of the PGA Championship.

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Former professional golfer Brad Faxon and Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir take on the challenging test of Southern Hills’ greens ahead of the PGA Championship.

Former professional golfer Brad Faxon and Sky Sports reporter Jamie Weir take on the challenging test of Southern Hills’ greens ahead of the PGA Championship.

“He’s hitting it far, his swing looks better and we saw at The Masters how well he drove it, even at the first tee which is usually a tough tee shot for him,” Faxon told Golf Channel. “I expect Tiger to get off to a fast start – maybe we could see something like we did at Pebble Beach in 2000, where he shot 65 and it spurred him on to a historic week.

“I see a mature Tiger Woods right now. When I listen to him speak you hear someone listening to his body. Tiger’s much more likeable now from fans and other players, and I think he’s a person with a desire that can be a big factor in his major championship.

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“I think he has always had the motivation to beat Jack Nicklaus’ records and to win another major championship. Could 18 possibly be in his mind? ‘ll ever see the Tiger Woods of old, but the new Tiger Woods is still pretty darn good!”

History in Tiger’s favour?

Woods told reporters in his pre-tournament press conference that he “definitely” feels like he could lift the Wanamaker Trophy, a view echoed by Sky Sports’ Robert Lee.

Five weeks on from what Tiger Woods describes as climbing Everest in his return at The Masters, Woods insists he can win the PGA Championship.

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Five weeks on from what Tiger Woods describes as climbing Everest in his return at The Masters, Woods insists he can win the PGA Championship.

Five weeks on from what Tiger Woods describes as climbing Everest in his return at The Masters, Woods insists he can win the PGA Championship.

“I’m telling you, Tiger can do it,” Lee told the Sky Sports Golf podcast. “Tiger can absolutely play very little and turn up and compete, because his off-season is not like anybody else’s. He is absolutely unique and he has shown on many occasions that he can be off for months and turn up and play well straight away .

“Don’t forget about Ben Hogan, who Woods is emulating to a certain extent, with the fantastic comeback from nearly dying in a car crash – there are similarities between the two of them.

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May 19, 2022, 1:00pm

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“Ben Hogan’s halcyon season was 1953, where he played six times and won five of them, including three majors. That template is there for Tiger, and it’s not lost on him what Hogan did after a near-fatal car accident. telling you, he can turn up and compete.”

The world No 818 has only made 11 official starts since claiming his historic 82nd PGA Tour at the Zozo Championship in October 2019, with Sky Sports’ Jamie Spence feeling that his lack of tournament practice prevents him from being a serious contender.

“He’s just not ready, is he?” Spence told the Sky Sports Golf podcast. “He did alright at The Masters, but he’s 70/1 with the bookmakers, as opposed to 13/8 to when he won’t in 2007, so that tells you a story.

“It [contending] is highly unlikely. Let’s hope he can compete and get up the leaderboard and you can’t rule him out, but you’re taking a massive leap of faith when you look at all the players that are playing well.

“McIlroy is 16/1, Jon Rahm’s won recently, Collin Morikawa is trending, Scottie Scheffler has won four times this year already, Viktor Hovland is hovering, so it really is deep in terms of talent.”

Can Tiger Woods contend at the PGA Championship? Watch throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 1pm on Sky Sports Golf.

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