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Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Tiger Woods focuses on Jack Nicklaus's major record


Tiger & Westwood cross swords

Tiger Woods is focused on overhauling Jack Nicklaus's major record after losing his world number one spot to England's Lee Westwood.

Woods has won 14 majors, four behind Nicklaus, and stated that bettering the target was his ultimate ambition.

He told BBC Radio 5 live's Iain Carter: "It's the highest benchmark there is.

"It took Jack over 20 years...I'm only 34. I have a lot of great years ahead of me. It's a matter of just being confident and getting better."

Westwood ended Woods's 281-week reign at the top of the world rankings on Sunday.

But a win for the American at this week's HSBC Championship in China, where the pair go head to head, would result in Woods leapfrogging his rival to reclaim the top spot.

"I go into every tournament to try to win," he said. "There's no sense of teeing up if you're not there to win.

"That's why we're all here. We don't come just to show up, we come to win golf tournaments and that has never changed."

When asked what motivates him, Woods replied: "Just Ws. I've always enjoyed winning, ever since I was a junior.

"There have been a lot of years where I have won and it's been fun. It's been enjoyable going against the best players. We have a great field here this week and that's the challenge of it."

And having lost the top spot in the rankings after more than five years, he praised the man who replaced him and conceded: "Lee's been by far the most consistent of all the players in the majors over the last two years. He hasn't won one but he's come so close. It's just a matter of time.

Boy I'm glad I'm at the spot I'm at now. It feels good

Tiger Woods

"You have to win golf tournaments - that's how I got to number one and that's how I sustained it. I haven't won a tournament in a year.

"I'm rebuilding my game, making a number of different swing changes. I've done this before. I had lean years with [Woods's former coach] Butch Harmon. I won the Masters in '97, changed my swing - then went from the middle of '97 to the middle of '99 with only one win.

"It's a matter of staying the course, believing in what I'm doing and eventually when it kicks in hopefully I'll win some tournaments."

Woods's last major success was at the US Open in 2008 but he insisted time was on his side in his bid to haul in Nicklaus.


"It's a career. It took Jack over 20 years and I haven't been playing that long," he reasoned.

"No-one has done better than Jack with 18... at the end of the day, hopefully I'll have more than 18 major championships.

"I'm only 34 - Ben Hogan didn't start winning his [majors] until after my age - all nine of them - so I'm looking forward to it."

Woods admitted it had been a "tough 12 months" following revelations about his private life but stated: "I'm in a much, much better place.

"I'm much happier, much more balanced. I've gone through a lot and thank God I did, because I needed to put my life back into an order and a balance.

"It was rough going, but boy I'm glad I'm at the spot I'm at now. It feels good."

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see also
Westwood handed Mickelson pairing
02 Nov 10 |  Golf
Don't write off Tiger - Westwood
01 Nov 10 |  Golf
Westwood becomes world number one
31 Oct 10 |  Golf
Woods named in US Ryder Cup team
07 Sep 10 |  Golf
Tiger Woods and wife are divorced
24 Aug 10 |  US & Canada
Tiger Woods takes break from golf
12 Dec 09 |  Americas
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf

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