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Thomas recalls influence of Tiger's 2000 US PGA win

Thomas recalls influence of Tiger's 2000 US PGA win”

Now, ahead of his second shot at clinching the career grand slam of all four major titles at this week's U.S. PGA Championship at Bellerive, it seems the headline was both sort of right and sort of wrong. So you've got two very, very solid teams and we have our hands full. And a lot of stretching.

But the Englishman dispelled any suggestion he would not be ready to go on Thursday. In many ways, this event at Bellerive Country Club in St Louis could save Spieth's season.

His only other experience at Bellerive came in 2001, when he was preparing for the American Express Championship that was canceled due to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

We are looking at a much different course now in 2018, as roughly 500 yards has been added over the years.

And the European number one can take heart from Francesco Molinari's win in the Open at Carnoustie, as well as learning from playing alongside eventual victor Justin Thomas in the first two rounds 12 months ago. He was feeling so good about his game that he took an all-or-nothing shot out of a pot bunker on the 10th hole that he thought might be a deciding moment, and he pulled it off.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy is a two-time victor of the PGA Championship.

It's been like that all year.

"But at the same time, this tournament will always be circled until I'm able to hopefully win it someday".

His health has held up nicely, especially coming off his fourth back surgery. I played a practice round with (Mark Calcavecchia), and, you know the tragedies that happened transpired.

"I have three or four weeks before I have to make those picks". It was just a reality that his status as one of the greatest golfers ensured a hoopla of distractions wherever he went. "I think there's a list of points per start, and he's done really well in that".

He said recently of the 2016 Masters: "I let it tear me down a little bit".

Bellerive has hosted two major golf championships including the U.S. Open in 1965 and the 74th PGA Championship in 1992. He says pairings would be easier now, a new generation anxious to play alongside their boyhood idol, a more familiar face after prior vice-captain roles while injured.

"You look at guys with experience - Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey, (Francesco) Molinari, who just won the Open Championship, Justin Rose".

"He had to learn how to move again".

Probably back-to-back tournaments. That has been proven over the history of golf to be the hardest thing, because the press notifies you right away what you are trying accomplish. All those things, he's been through.

"I literally haven't set foot on this golf course since that week in 2001", Woods said.

"I'm trying to get back to the way I was the last time I won a major in 2014 at Valhalla".

Jason Day and Tiger Woods at the WGC Invitational last week.

McIlroy since then has played in the final group three times, including at the Masters. One of the longest hitters on Tour could have a field day at Charmin-soft Bellerive as he looks to improve on his underappreciated major record.

"In golf, you just have to be an eternal optimist", McIlroy said. "I didn't get up here pre-Open and (Monday) I took the day off".

Woods no longer has that luxury.

But the game is right there and on a course like Bellerive and its PGA Championship specifics, McIlroy - a two-time victor of the tournament - really should excel.

The 27-year-old Englishman then put himself into contention at The Open last month, before finishing 12th.

Longtime golf instructor Peter Kostis thinks Tiger Woods has done "exactly what he needs to do" in remaking his swing after spinal fusion finally allowed him to overcome his back problems.



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