Tiger Woods knows he must do everything right to catch Jack Nicklaus

Ross Houston
December 3, 2019

"Hopefully, that bodes well for the future", Woods said, on the sidelines of the Hero World Challenge here on Monday. We obviously didn't play well at the right time previous year and we got smoked [losing 17.5-10.5 at Le Golf National in France].

Woods will be making his first Australian appearance since 2011.

Speaking on the eve of the 21st edition of the event, which since 2014 has been sponsored by Hero MotoCorp, Woods said, "Interestingly, when I have done well here it has acted like a springboard to my following season".

Woods seemed to show no ill effects after that, contending at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play before winning the Masters.

"That was an incredible experience for me and now to have been part of it for so long in different ways".

"I have to do everything right". With no Presidents Cup to distract him, he'll be tough to beat if the focus is there. It was the next six events in which Woods' form fell off as back stiffness - and, as we later learned, knee issues - led to just a single top-10 finish, as well as two missed cuts and a withdrawal.

His profession PGA Tour victory mark is tied for probably the most in tour historical past.

Woods is known to have a long memory, but he did himself and USA teams - now and in the future - a favor by including Reed.

While the Hero World Challenge is nowhere near the Tour Championship, it is a busy week for Woods. "The days of 8-hour practice sessions are long gone".

"I think we all get a bit more reflective as we age", Woods said.

Reed was unable to make the top eight automatic qualifiers, but he did win the Northern Trust in August and finished 12th in the final standings.

"So this is a totally different animal".

Despite the withdrawal of one of the top ranked players in the field, the 2019 Hero World Challenge still includes a star-studded field for this week's main event. It's a very busy week.

"I am very proud of what I did, to come back from where I came back to win another great championship, but also to do it differently". Last year, Jon Rahm earned 48 ranking points for his victory in the Bahamas, which is more than Justin Rose earned for capturing the Farmers Insurance Open, for example.

Albany Golf Course is a bomber's paradise with five par 5s on a 7,400 yard par 72. "He's a great team guy in there because he knows that when he goes out on that golf course, he's going to give you absolutely everything he has, and that's admirable, and the guys are looking forward to embracing him and having be a part of the team".

Still, it will be two straight weeks, with a long trip between events.

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