August 12, 2009

Woods seeks 15th Grand Slam win

Tiger Woods, on a roll with two straight wins, goes after his 15th major title this week, leading the field in the PGA Championship in Minnesota.

Woods, a three-time winner of the event (in 2000, 2006, 2007), tees off at 8:35 a.m. CDT at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in a threesome with defending champion Padraig Harrington and Rich Beem, who the title by one stroke over Woods in 2002, the last time it was played at Hazeltine.

The 7,674-yard course in Chaska -- 25 miles southwest of Minneapolis -- is the longest in major championship history.

Woods won the Buick Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational the past two weeks.

The world's No. 1 golfer has five wins this year and 70 in his career, trailing only Jack Nicklaus (73) and Sam Snead (82) in total victories.

Woods's last Grand Slam title came at the 2008 U.S. Open. In majors this year, he tied for sixth in the Masters and the U.S. Open and missed the cut in the British Open.

Huge crowds turned out to watch Woods in practice sessions at Hazeltine this week.

The tournament field includes world No. 2 Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Stricker, Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson, all two-time winners on tour this year, and the 2009 majors winners, Angel Cabrera (Masters), Lucas Glover (U.S. Open) and Stewart Cink (British Open). Other top contenders include Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh, who won the tournament in 1998 and 2004.