On the back of a year that has yielded five wins and a return to the top of the world rankings, Tiger Woods says that he’s excited to see what 2014 has in store – and, naturally, his first priority is a return to winning ways in the majors.
Speaking to the media in California ahead of this week’s Northwestern Mutual World Challenge, an event he hosts, Woods revealed that he is hoping to draw upon fond memories of next year’s major championship host venues, as he tries to end a drought in the game’s biggest events which stretches back nearly six years to the 2008 US Open.
Not only that, the man who sank the winning putt in this year’s Presidents Cup is also looking forward to visiting Scotland for the 2014 Ryder Cup.
“As far as the major championships, I've won at every except for Pinehurst, and I'm trending in the right way,” said the 38-year-old. “So I'm looking forward to the major venues next year. They have set up well for me over the years and I look forward to it. Same with Ryder Cup at the end of the season. I think it's going to be fun to go over there and try to get the cup back.
“I feel like I've improved this year than I did over the previous year" - Tiger Woods
“I've never played at Gleneagles. I've never been to that golf course or seen that venue before. I don't know if any of the American guys have or have not. I think most of the European guys at the top have played it in a tournament or two. But I don't think most of us have.”
In a wide-ranging chat, Tiger Woods also touched on various other subjects. Here are some of the best bits:
• Rory McIlroy’s return to winning ways
“I think it was great to see Rory win a tournament. He's been working very hard on trying to make some changes in his game. Obviously, we all know about the equipment change, but he's made some adjustments in his golf swing as well. It's good to see him win, especially, given how it all unfolded.”
• Looking after his body as he gets older
“Any athlete who plays any sports is going to get injured. And the longer you play it, the more likelihood you're going to get injured. That's where obviously training and nutrition and work out of your sport helps. I've certainly tried to curve my workout regime over the years. I don't run the mileage like I used to. I don't lift the way I used to. Things evolve. I'm not 22. I'm about ready to turn 38, so things are different and you have to make those adjustments. You know, that is just a reality.”
• His assessment of his season
“I feel like I've improved this year than I did over the previous year. Won five times this year. I think that's a pretty good number. No-one did that this year, so I'm very pleased at the overall year. I certainly wish I could have played a little better in major championships. But winning The Players Championship and then obviously four other events, I think it's a pretty good year.”
• Recent rule changes in golf
“I think the ruling is such that it certainly is going to help players, but certainly it's not going to save all the players.”
• Being ‘hated’ by fans
“I think that just comes with playing sports in general. Most of the time if you play team sports, you're hated half the time you play. It's certainly part of my upbringing and having a father who went through some very difficult times and I did as well.”
“As far as [girlfriend, Lindsey Vonn} convincing me to tweet more, yes, she certainly has hinted that, but I grew up in a different era, and it's a little bit different for me. I'm still a little bit old school. I'm kind of getting towards it, but still not quite grasping the whole concept yet, but I'll get there eventually.
WILL TIGER WOODS WIN A MAJOR IN 2014?
Can Tiger Woods end his winless drought in the game's four biggest events next year? If so, how many times will he win and where? Leave your thoughts in our 'Comments' section below.