Tiger chases 16th major, No. 1 spot at PGA Championship - GulfToday

Tiger chases 16th major, No. 1 spot at PGA Championship

Tiger Wood

Tiger Woods plays from the fairway on the ninth hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship in Farmingdale on Tuesday. Associated Press

Bethpage: Tiger Woods launched his quest for a 16th major title, and a possible return to world number one, with a PGA Championship practice round in cold and rainy conditions on Monday.

The 43-year-old American, who snapped an 11-year major win drought by capturing last month’s Masters, toured the front nine at Bethpage Black in just under 2 1/2 hours ahead of Thursday’s start to the year’s second major tournament.

“I feel good,” Woods told Golfweek. “Got a couple more days of work to get in and I’ll be ready to go.”

Woods hopes to pull within two of the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus and take a fifth PGA crown, which would match the career record hauls of Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.

“To tie Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus with five wins would be a very special accomplishment,” Woods said. With a victory, Woods would also match the all-time career US PGA wins record of 82 by Sam Snead.

Woods, whose career had been jeopardized by years of nagging back pain before 2017 spinal fusion surgery, won the 2002 US Open at Bethpage Black and shared sixth in the 2009 US Open, but those were in warmer mid-June conditions.

This marks the first PGA Championship since 1948 to be played in May after the event was shifted this year from its traditional August spot in golf’s lineup.

Woods practiced four times last week, including an 18-hole session at the Long Island public layout last Wednesday, two days after accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a White House ceremony.Woods faces a lawsuit from the parents of a staffer at his Florida restaurant who died in a drink driving accident after allegedly being overserved alcohol, TMZ reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, Woods plans to practice smarter and play less to keep his body fresh, but the 43-year-old golf star might change that strategy to reach the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sixth-ranked Woods, who snapped an 11-year major drought by winning last month’s Masters, seeks his 16th major title at this week’s 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.

With the PGA settling into its new May date after moving from August, it’s only the sixth time Woods has not played between major starts, admitting Tuesday he wasn’t mentally ready to return two weeks ago at Quail Hollow.

“I’m always looking for breaks,” Woods said. “I wanted to play at Quail Hollow, but to be honest with you, I wasn’t ready yet to start the grind of practicing and preparing and logging all those hours again.”

Agence France-Presse

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Team Emirates’ Pogacar claims podium finish

A monumental final push in the UAE heat from Tadej Pogacar wasn’t enough to take the win in the third stage of the team’s home country as Adam Yates...


The 184km Emirates Stage finished with an exhausting 10.8km climb as Yates launched a surprisingly early attack with 6km to go. Pogacar didn’t react to Yates’ initial acceleration but then ripped clear of the chasing group with 5km remaining, finishing second in the stage, claiming the young rider’s jersey and ending the day second in the GC in a successful day for the team.

Pogacar said “It was extremely hot today, so for me on a climb like that in those temperatures it was a really good ride and I’m pleased.

“There is still three stages with another big mountain stage and the chance of crosswinds tomorrow so it’s not over yet. We have a strong team here so will try something for sure.”

Pogacar will get another chance to claim back the one minute GC deficit as the fifth stage of the Tour finishes at the same Jebel Hafeet summit.

Pogacar will wear the white young rider’s jersey in Wednesday’s stage as the race sees the riders return to the flats which will come as welcome relief for the sprinters.

The Emirates NBD Stage starts from Zabeel Park, crosses Mushrif Park and Motor City before finishing at Dubai City Walk where the popular walkway has been transformed as part of the racing route.

British climber Yates pulverised the opposition on the tough, final ascent of stage, winning by over a minute and taking the overall race lead.

His compatriot Chris Froome was dropped early in the race.

The four-time Tour de France winner again struggled on his comeback from injuries sustained last May.

The 27-year-old Yates is also making his 2020 debut and looks favourite to win in a competitive field after his stunning attack from 6km out at the end of a warm day with temperatures passing 30C.

“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good,” said Yates, whose win gives him a 1min 07sec lead in the overall.

“A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then,” Yates said in reference to stage five.

“Also tomorrow I heard a rumour there are going to be crosswinds, so we’ll see.”

Yates was followed up the final 10.6km Jebell Hafeet climb at a 7 per cent gradient by a trio of challengers with Slovenian prodigy Pogacar finishing 1min 03sec adrift.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko was third at 1min 30sec accompanied by up-and-coming Frenchman David Gaudu.

Yates came fourth at the 2016 Tour de France and is targeting the Grand Boucle this summer where he will lead the Australian team ahead of his brother Simon.

Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.





Stage 3 Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 4h42’34”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:03

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:30

General Classification Results

1. Adam Yates (GBR) Mitchelton-Scott 12h30’02”

2. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates +1:07

3. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ) Astana +1:35

22 hours ago