Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Westwood withdraws from PGA Championship

With 79 career PGA Tour wins and 12 global victories, Woods has shown that he possesses the ability and skill to win on all manner of courses and in any conditions.

McIlroy's performance at Carnoustie, as he finished two shots behind victor Francesco Molinari, was his eighth top-10 in his past 14 majors and he has moved up to fifth in the world rankings heading into this week's event at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis.

Still, it built even more hype about his chances heading into the PGA Championship - until he shot 73-73 on the weekend at Firestone, a course that he has dominated as much as any other. Only 13 players from that tournament are in the field; Woods missed it due to knee surgery he had that year after winning the U.S. Open. "He just had his fourth back surgery, so to get to this point is a phenomenal achievement already".

"So I've done well, I'm slowly getting back up the world rankings".

"It's just that there's going to be certain days that I'm just not going to have the speed and flexibility and the movement that I once did, " Woods said. So things are going to be different from day to day, and it's just about managing it.

"Before, and as I was alluding to earlier, I didn't really have any of those issues when I was early in my career because I didn't have a fixed point in my back".

Lee Westwood of England has withdrawn from the PGA Championship next week with an injury, missing the major for only the second time since he first played it in 1997. There have been enough moments this year, however - Carnoustie would be one of them - that it wouldn't be a surprise if he contended at Bellerive.

"You certainly get thrown at the deep end straight away in a group like that", said McIlroy. He's learning to compete again.

He added: "Even though he's won 14 of these things, you still, if you haven't done it for a while, you still have to re-learn a few things, and I think he's going through that stage". All those things, he's been through.

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Woods and McIlroy have won the same number of majors over the past four years - none.

"He should be very proud that he was able to win a major after having a family".

Soon it was time for a walk down Tiger Woods Memory Lane, Molinari being asked to reflect on caddying at the US Masters for his brother Edoardo, who happened to be playing in a group with Woods.

Woods just hasn't had a lot of time to practice since the British Open. He still has only one victory this year and feels as though he should have won more.

"I haven't seen much of Bellerive this week, for obvious reasons with the weather, but from what I've seen it does remind me of somewhere like Valhalla, where there's quite a lot of mounding. We all like to play golf courses that are tough but fair, and I think that the PGA present golf courses like that to us each and every year". "It's another chance to give myself a chance to win a golf tournament".

McIlroy added: "And the feelings that I have now, it's just hard for me to get into those positions, and if I do get into those positions, it will make me a better wedge player".

Woods took Monday off and was counting on nine-hole practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday. Time is running out, as it relates to preparing for the PGA Championship, and for a season that is being measured differently.

"It's not as if my game's in bad shape at all", said the 29-year-old.

"He's in a place where it's going to go "boom" and then he's going to start winning a lot of golf tournaments again, and that's actually pretty good fun to watch".

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