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Finding missing piece of puzzle key to Tiger Woods breaking win hoodoo

 

Tiger Woods is hoping to find the missing piece of the jigsaw at Shinnecock Hills to claim a first win since his latest comeback and end a 10-year victory drought in the majors.

Woods won the last of his 14 major titles at the 2008 US Open but has not played in the event since 2015.

The 42-year-old played just four times in the following two seasons due to a back injury and off-course problems, but underwent spinal fusion surgery in April 2017 and has missed just one cut in nine events in 2018.

Chances to win his 80th PGA Tour title have so far gone begging, but Woods knows he is fortunate to simply be competing at the highest level again given the amount of injuries he has suffered in recent years.

"I had no expectation to think I could actually be here again," Woods said. "This time last year I was just given the okay to start walking again.

"It was about just having my standard of life. Forget golf. Could I participate in my kids' lives again? That was the main goal, being able to play again was a bonus.

"I have given myself chances to win which I did not know I was ever going to do again, but also I'm not happy with the fact that I didn't win," he added.

"Golf is always frustrating. There's always something that is not quite right and that's why we have to make adjustments.

"Of the tournaments I've played in this year there's been something missing; hopefully this is one of those weeks where I put it all together and we'll see what happens."

Woods is one of 20 players in the field who also contested the 2004 US Open at Shinnecock Hills, when playing conditions meant 28 of the 66 players amazingly failed to break 80 in a final round which had to be halted in order to water the seventh green.

He also competed here in 1995 but said: "It has changed a lot from the two times I played it previously. It's a lot longer, the fairways seem to be twice as wide. It's a very different test."

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