Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Tiger, McIlroy in 'deep end' early in 100th PGA duel

Tiger, McIlroy in 'deep end' early in 100th PGA duel

I got four pretty big tournaments coming up and the Ryder Cup, which is another big one, so technically five big tournaments coming up (after this week).

Woods will play today at Bellerive alongside world No 2 and defending champion Justin Thomas and four-time major victor Rory McIlroy.

"Without a doubt, the next step in my career is to win in America and win a major", he said.

McIlroy ended an 18-month drought when he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, and he would have expected more at this point.

"Keep putting ourselves in position, get in contention, we have had plenty of runner-ups, Jack (Nicklaus) had a lot of runner-ups, we'll just keep beating down that door". "I guess it focuses you straight away".

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In what has become an ongoing storyline over the years, updates on Tiger Woods's body tend to mean a lot.

The 42-year-old also missed the 2008 BMW Championships at the same venue due to injury and was only able to play five holes in practice before his pre-tournament press conference yesterday due to thunderstorms.

"You certainly get thrown at the deep end straight away in a group like that", McIlroy said.

"So we took care of what we needed to take care of today and we move on to Friday and go do what we need to go do tomorrow".

"It's just that there's going to be certain days that I'm just not going to have the speed and flexibility and the movement that I once did, " Woods said. I spent a few times in the ice bath just trying to get some inflammation down and just trying to get ready for the rest of the week. "So things are going to be different from day-to-day, and it's just about managing it". "I can still make it a great year".

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Woods underwent spinal fusion surgery in April previous year and admits he feels "blessed" simply to be able to compete again, but has already failed to convert several chances to claim his first victory since 2013.

Playing the back nine first at a sweltering Bellerive Country Club, Fowler was slow out of the gate, mixing two birdies with what would be his only bogey of the day.

But on Tuesday it was Thomas Bjørn, with four captain's picks for his European squad to take on the United States in Paris next month, who was quizzed about Woods.

Fleetwood's US Open bid was damaged by a third-round 78, and he was one shot off the lead at the halfway stage of The Open before falling back on the Saturday. I felt like I was in control of what I was doing, and that felt good.

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