Memorial Coverage Presented by The TriStatePGA.com.
Dublin, OH — This week, Tiger Woods is prepared to make his 16th career Memorial Tournament start but his first since 2015.
During that 2015 start, he shot a career-worst 85 in the third round and went out as a solo group in the final round, something he retorted was good because no one else would have to see him play.
“I tried and unfortunately that’s all I had,” Woods admitted. “I take great pride in, if you guys watched me throughout the years, of never bagging it. I’ve tried into every single round and tried to fight to the end and unfortunately that week I think I shot 85, I believe. I think I hit two or three rounds in the 80’s in my career and unfortunately that was the highest one I’ve ever had. It didn’t feel very good. I tried and unfortunately on this golf course hitting it as bad as I did it just wasn’t good enough.”
Tuesday during his weekly press conference, Jack Nicklaus acknowledged that with nearly five years between victories, Woods may need to learn how to win again.
Woods himself stated that it comes down to understanding what needs to be done to successfully complete a tournament.
“This is, to me this is a little bit different because I’m coming back off of not really playing for awhile,” he said. “I remember the feelings when I was at Valspar, I had a chance to win there, finished second. It really felt comfortable. The last few times that I’ve had a chance, I’ve been up there on the board, I’ve felt very comfortable. Hopefully I can just shoot the low round when I need it.”
What does it take to be number one?
Rory McIlroy could not help but poke fun at Justin Thomas when asked about it being any different being the world’s top golfer.
Thomas was in the back of the room waiting on his press conference and said there is so much pressure and that a bulls-eye is on your back.
After the inevitable laughter finally broke, he explained why Thomas has climbed to the top spot.
“It’s because he’s been playing great golf and I think that as long as when you’re No. 1 in the world, the demands on your time are a little bit more,” McIlroy said. “He’s great, he practices hard and he does all the right things, so he’s not going to forget that, but you’ve just got to manage your time a little bit better and find the time to stay there. It’s a great feeling, I mean knowing that you’re walking on to the range or walking to a golf tournament that the No. 1 player in the world. It’s a life-long dream for all of us out here and to be able to do it is really cool. So I mean I think he should just enjoy it, but at the same time not forget what got him there in the first place.”
Though the demands and commitments become larger, Thomas is at a spot everyone wants to be at.
Jason Day has said on record in the past he wants to reclaim the top spot and thinks he could handle the demands that positions provides a lot better.
Dustin Johnson expressed that desire Wednesday stating that this goal will motivate him to work harder and get his game back in ideal form.
“I think for me I definitely, would definitely like to get back there, just as much as I wanted to get there the first time,” said Johnson.
Thomas was asked about repeating as FedEx Cup Champion and in similar fashion tried to take things one day at a time.
“It’s something I would like to do but there’s, I’m worried about hitting my tee shot on number 10 at the Memorial first,” he said. “There’s a lot of golf shots and a lot of tournaments and a lot of things that are going to happen until Atlanta. So I, yeah, it’s something that I, once I come down that back nine or the last couple holes come Sunday, I hope that I have a chance or I’m looking good to win, but like I said, there’s a lot of golf until then.”
Chris Pohl also contributed to this article