Tiger Woods says he will draw on the memories of his record-setting win at the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach as he attempts to restart his quest for a 16th major victory.
All eyes will be on Woods to see if he can edge one closer to Jack Nicklaus' record 18 major victories, having charged to an emotional come-from-behind win at the Masters in April.
World No.5 Woods believes the timeless seaside course is playing the same as it did when he romped to a 15-shot victory in 2000 – the largest margin of victory in majors history.
"It's crazy, it's been 19 years," he said. "I still remember most of the shots I hit. It was very special.
"I made every putt inside 10 feet on seaside, poa annua (greens); I don't know how I pulled that off."
Despite sports science and golf equipment taking quantum leaps since, Woods feels the 100-year-old course will reward his experience more than ever.
"The golf course really doesn't play that differently for me; it's just a matter of putting the ball in the right spots," Woods said on Tuesday.
Woods is among 41 players this week who competed in both the 2000 and 2010 US Opens at Pebble Beach, finishing tied fourth in the latter.
"We're going to be playing from virtually the same spots, especially if it dries out," Woods said of the potential for California's summer temperatures to firm up the fairways and greens.
Along with experience, Woods feels his iron play – considered among the best in golf's history – will be an ace up his sleeve given Pebble Beach has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.
RIGHT: Woods won the 2000 US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots. PHOTO: Mike Fiala/AFP/Getty Images.
"We don't face greens this small and this steep and it puts a premium on iron play," said Woods, who ranks 13th on the PGA Tour in that category.
Woods' hopes of chasing down Nicklaus' record stalled when he missed the cut at last month's US PGA Championship at Bethpage – the New York course on which he won the 2002 US Open.
He put that down to a cold he was suffering from at the time.
Woods was also underprepared at the PGA, given he had not played competitively in the month between his Masters win and Bethpage.
But Woods feels he has brought his form back to major-winning shape and only needs "one more day" of practice at Pebble Beach to feel sharp enough for a 16th major win.
Woods' most recent PGA Tour event was the Memorial in Ohio two weeks ago, where he tied for ninth.
"This week I feel like I'm trending in the right direction," he said. "I need one more day of prep. I want to see the golf course when it's a little bit closer to game time."
Woods claims time is on his side despite already having four surgeries on his back.
"I just need to give myself chances," Woods said. "Hypothetically, let's say I give myself 10 years. That's 40 major championships. That's a lot of majors.
"The trick is if I can I keep myself healthy enough and strong enough and fast enough to endure all that, considering what my body has gone through."
- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press