Golf

Tiger Woods needs a Major win more than ever

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Tiger Woods could move to within two victories of Sam Snead's all-time PGA Tour win record of 82 with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational this week - and he couldn't be in a better place to do it. 

The 38-year-old American returns to Firestone in Akron, Ohio aiming for an incredible ninth victory at the event he has made his own throughout his career.

Happy hunting ground

It is, however, the scene of his last victory on the American circuit following last year's sensational second-round 61 that set him on his way to a comfortable seven-stroke win over compatriot Keegan Bradley and Sweden's Henrik Stenson.

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Following his tied-69th finish at Hoylake just over a week ago at his first Major appearance of the season, questions have once again arisen over his chances of overhauling the 18-Major titles record set by Jack Nicklaus, but while that remains Woods' primary objective, passing Snead's will feel just as satisfying.

Chasing two records 

"I think there are probably two goals that are pushing me right now which one is to get the all-time tournament wins record," Woods said.

"I'm only three back of Sam on that one and obviously the Major record, you know, being four back of Jack. So, those two are pretty synonymous with the greats of the game of golf, to be number two and on both lists is not too bad. And that means I've had a pretty good career."

While surpassing the 82 mark will almost certainly happen at some point in the future, Woods needs a win in Ohio for reasons other than simply of the record-setting variety. 

Ryder Cup doubts

US Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson has openly stated that Woods will be on his team for Gleneagles this autumn, providing he is showing good form, as well as good health.

However, his failure at the Open has done little to allay Watson's fears - especially when, all things considered, Watson actually finished seven strokes ahead of Woods himself at Royal Liverpool. 

In order to prove himself as a viable option for this year's meeting with Europe, he is faced with the challenge of having to rise 90 places up the FedEx Cup rankings - from 215 to at least 125 - if he is to make the season-ending playoffs and thus, give himself the chance to play competitively more frequently in the build up to the Ryder Cup.

Rekindling best form

All is not completely lost, though, with 2014's final Major following immediately at Valhalla next Thursday - a place Woods also knows all about, too, having won the PGA the last time it was staged there in 2000. 

For now, his primary concern will be rediscovering the form of last year that saw him win five times and eventually see him earn  the PGA Tour Player of the Year award - and with eight wins at Firestone, which includes two spells of three consecutive victories, there can be no better place to once again silence the ever-growing list doubters. 

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Ryder Cup
Golf
Tiger Woods

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