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Tiger says his body is strong enough to win at US Open

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Tiger Woods, who has struggled just walking 72 holes since suffering severe leg injuries in a 2021 car crash, said Tuesday his body is well enough for him to win this week’s US Open.

The 15-time major champion has struggled with stamina in later rounds at majors, but he came to Pinehurst last week and has been working on fitness ahead of the 124th US Open.

“I feel like I have the strength to be able to do it. It’s just a matter of doing it,” Woods said of winning this week.

“This golf course is going to test every single aspect of your game, especially mentally, and just the mental discipline that it takes to play this particular golf course, it’s going to take a lot.

“We’ve been working on that and making sure I understand the game plan and be ready in two more days.”

Woods, who won his most recent major at the 2019 Masters, received a special exemption from the US Golf Association (USGA) to compete in this week’s US Open.

Woods made his comeback from the car crash at the 2022 Masters, finishing 47th, and he was 60th at this year’s Masters, but has withdrawn twice and missed the cut twice as well since the crash.

“We’ve been always working on fitness,” Woods said. “Fitness is always a part of it.”

This will be the first US Open for Woods since missing the 2020 cut. He also missed the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst while recovering from back surgery.

“I did a little bit of work on chipping and putting, but nothing can simulate what we have here, the amount of little shots and knobs and run-offs, and either using wedges or long irons or woods around the greens or even putter,” Woods said.

“We’ve putted off a lot of greens. It depends how severe the USGA wants to make this and how close they want to get us up to those sides.

“I foresee just like in ’05 watching some of the guys play ‘ping pong’ back and forth. It could happen.

“This could be one of the Opens where whatever the leading score is, that’s probably as low as we’ll ever go after the first day.”

There’s also going to be heat this week above 90 degrees (32.2 Celsius).

“Hot and humid is what we deal with every single day at home in Florida, so that’s nothing new,” Woods said. “It’s just making sure I keep hydrated and the mental tax that the heat will bring. Everyone is going to be tested.

“It’s going to make for long rounds with the falloffs and run-offs on the greens. The rounds time-wise are going to be a little bit longer. When you’re out in the heat for that length and period of time, that’s going to take a little bit of wear and tear on you.”

Woods practiced early Tuesday with Australian Min Woo Lee and American Max Homa while 15-year-old Charlie Woods joined his dad.

“It’s great for us to be able to share these moments together,” said Woods. “I trust him with my swing and my game. He’s seen it more than anybody else in the world.”

Woods will receive the USGA Bob Jones Award for showing character, spirit and golf respect like Jones.

“What he did in his amateur career, winning the Ams and the Opens and then obviously creating Augusta National, the fact that I get a chance to be honored with his award, it’s very special,” Woods said.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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