Tiger Woods has placed this week’s U.S. Open host venue at Winged Foot up there with Carnoustie and Oakmont as the three hardest major championship venues in golf.
The 15-time major-winning Woods is contesting his 22nd U.S. Open having captured the title on three occasions – 2000, 2002 and 2008.
Woods is among just 15 players who teed-up in the 2006 U.S. when last staged on this week’s host venue at Long Island with the reigning Masters winner asked where he would place Winged Foot in terms of the ‘toughest’ Major courses.
“Well, I think it’s right up there next to Oakmont and I think Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even doing anything to it,” he said.
“I think those three golf courses can host major championships without ever doing anything to them. This one or Oakmont here is either one or two.”
Woods is yet to win on any of the three venues having finished T7th in the 1999 Open and then T6th in the 2018 Open at Carnoustie.
He missed the cut in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and a year later in the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont he finished joint second to Argentina’s Angel Cabrera while he did not contest the 2016 U.S. Open when it returned to Oakmont.
Woods is coming off missing out on the 2019/20 PGA Tour Championship and will be teeing-up in only his seventh event of 2020 proper this week.
He got a first look at Winged Foot after contesting the Northern Trust ahead of the BMW Championship, when he and Justin Thomas played the course.
“I was able to come up here right before I played in Boston, take a look at the golf course, and I was able to get my sight lines,” he said.
“This golf course is going to be one of the more difficult ones. The winning scores here have never traditionally been very low. I don’t see that changing this week.
“The golf course is going to be hard. It depends on how difficult they want to set up these pins, give us a chance at it. But with the forecast, it’s going to be difficult no matter what.”
Of course, there will be no fans out on Winged Foot and what a difference that will make given the reputation New Yorkers have for making noise at major sporting events.
Woods said: “It’s going to be — you know, it’s something that unfortunately this is our new reality. This is something we’re getting used to. It’s not something we like.
“We want the fans and we want the atmosphere out there, but safety is first.”
Woods has been drawn to tee-up alongside PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa and Thomas.