Tiger Woods Says Game In Good Shape For Pebble Beach

June 16th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

With the first round of the 2010 United States Open at Pebble Beach set to begin tomorrow, the world’s No.1-ranked player addressed the media on Tuesday discussing the state of his game and his thoughts on the week.

Tiger Woods was not able to complete his practice round on Tuesday after a log-jammed back-nine caused him to make the decision to go to the practice area of the grounds instead.

Woods took the the media room late in the afternoon and fielded a variety of questions.

“As far as my game, I’m very excited about how it’s progressed, since before [the] Memorial, then obviously during Memorial, and now here it’s gotten better,” Woods remarked. “The more time I’ve been able to practice and play, it’s starting to solidify, and I’m actually really excited to tee it up on Thursday.”

Woods will tee off at 4:36 Pm Est and will play with Ernie Els and Lee Westwood for the first two rounds of the tournament.

Last time that the U.S Open was held at Pebble Beach was the site of Woods 15-shot record-breaking triumph in 2000, a year in which Woods won three of four Major championships.

“Funny thing is I actually hit it better at St. Andrews than I did here,” Woods said of his 2000 British Open victory. “But I putted better here. Yeah, that was a good week. It was a good weekend.”

The world’s No.2 ranked player in the world, Phil Mickelson, described what he thought of the performance in 2000 by Woods, calling it “the greatest performance I’ve ever seen in the game, to shoot 12 under by Tiger, that was the best ball striking and the best putting tournament that’s ever been performed in my opinion. The next [closest score] was 3 over. And I thought that that was pretty good play.”

Mickelson has an opportunity to surpass Woods as the No.1 player in the world this week in several scenarios, with the most obvious being a victory.

Woods has played in five tournament this season, with his best finish coming at the Masters back in April.  In May, Woods withdrew during the final round of the players Championship due to beck spasms.

“The neck is better,” Woods remarked. “It’s not where I want it, but it is better, no doubt. It does get sore from time to time. But I can recover for the next day. And I haven’t had any days where I couldn’t go the next day. That’s a big step in the right direction.”

As the game’s top-two players descend on the U.S Open, Mickelson has never won, while Woods has captured three titles.  Lefty has finished second five times in the last 11 tournaments.

“It would mean a lot to any player, myself included, given that I’ve come so close so many times,” Mickelson said when asked about winning the Open at Pebble Beach. “My special tie to Pebble Beach … it was my first event as a professional. I’ve played so much here over the years and had some success at AT&T [three victories] and have a lot of fond memories here.”

Even Woods took notice of Mickelson’s performances over the last decade.

“I think just by finishing second five times it goes to show you that he understands how to play Opens. This is the toughest event to win, and he’s been right there so many times. It’s just a matter of time before he gets it done. But he understands how to put himself there and what it takes over the long haul to be in that position. And that’s not easy to do. But he’s done just a great job of it over the years.”

Both Woods and Mickelson are installed as the betting favorites entering the week to win the 2010 U.S Open on USA Online Sportsbooks.

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