Tiger Woods has a special section of his house reserved for his 14 major trophies, and would love nothing more than having to make room for one more this week.
Woods has not won a major since the US Open in 2008 and remains four behind the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, but he could not be in better form going into the US PGA Championship which gets under way at Oak Hill on Thursday.
The world No 1 won his eighth WGC Bridgestone Invitational title by seven shots late on Sunday, threatening a magical 59 before carding a 61 in Friday’s second round and then simply coasting to victory.
The win was his fifth of the year and 79th PGA Tour title of his career, three behind the record of 82 held by Sam Snead, but the focus of his post-tournament press conference at Firestone Country Club quickly turned to the final major of the year.
“Oak Hill is going to be a golf course where we’re going to have to make a lot of pars, there’s no doubt,” said Woods, who made 16 pars, one birdie and one bogey in a subdued closing 70 on Sunday.
“If you have an opportunity to make a birdie, you’d better because there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to make them. There are a few holes that you can be aggressive on and maybe a few pin locations that if you have the right situation you can be pretty aggressive to it, but otherwise it’s going to be a tough golf course.
“The rough was already up when I played it on Tuesday. It has another week of getting thicker and more lush. I think that it’ll be a very, very difficult championship.
“I forgot what the winning score was, maybe just a few under par when Shaun (Micheel) won in 2003, but it was playing hard, and I think it may be playing even harder this year.”
The last time Woods won by more than six shots the week before a major championship was also at Firestone in 2007, the 37-year-old then going on to win the US PGA at Southern Hills.
But Woods was quick to dismiss any comparison, adding: “For me it’s hard to relate because it’s a totally different emotion, and it’s Southern Hills versus Oak Hill, two very different golf courses.
“This golf course (Firestone) is very similar to Oak Hill, but Oak Hill is much more difficult obviously, and with it being more penal with the rough being up, it’ll be interesting to see what they do with the greens, how much speed can they add to it and what’s going to happen come Thursday.
“I’m looking forward to it. As far as wanting it more than any other, no. It’s the same. These are the events that we try and peak for and try and win.
“There’s four of them a year and this week, as I said, it’s important for me to get some rest come Monday and Tuesday and do some light work but make sure it’s clean work.
“Come Thursday I’ve got a great pairing with Keegan (Bradley) and Davis (Love). Do I want it any more? No, it’s the same. Each and every major, I always want them. I’ve been successful 14 times, and hopefully next week will be 15.”
And as for where the Wan-amaker Trophy would reside, Woods added: “Yeah, the majors are in a certain section of the house and the other trophies are downstairs where I have basically a media room and stuff like that. I have a trophy area and that’s where (regular trophies) go. But the majors are in a different spot.”