Reborn Tiger majorly motivated

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Tiger Woods warms up before his head-to-head match against Phil Mickelson in Las Vegas last weekend.

A rejuvenated Tiger Woods will head into the new year excited knowing he's won six of his 14 majors on three of the four 2019 host venues.

The former world No 1 made a successful return to golf this year after missing most of the previous two seasons through injury.

While Woods finished his season with a dramatic, emotional win at the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September, he fell agonizingly short in the majors, tying for sixth at the British Open and finishing runner-up at the PGA Championship.

Next year, however, Woods' major campaign will feature three stops on courses where he was won before.

As well as four Masters victories at Augusta National, Woods has also won at Pebble Beach, the venue for the US Open, and Bethpage Black on New York's Long Island, which is hosting the PGA Championship.

"The major venues for next year do excite me as I have won on three of the four," Woods told AFP.

Woods said his performances in the final two majors of 2018 suggested he was close to winning his 15th big one.

"What I did in the last two major championships, I gave myself a chance to win both of them and I was right there," Woods said at Albany in the Bahamas ahead of this week's Hero World Challenge.

"That's ultimately what we want to have happen. Now it's about trying to get everything to peak together like I did for those two weeks to do it again four more times. That's the trick.

"As you look at anyone who's ever played this game, that is the most difficult thing to do in this game.

"That's why most people haven't won a lot of major championships, because it's so hard to do.

"Fortunately, I was able to do it 14 times and hopefully more in the future."

Woods said his enthusiasm to represent the United States in team events was undiminished despite an unhappy return to duty at the Ryder Cup in September.

The 42-year-old said he is determined to be a playing captain when he skippers the US in next year's Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne.

Woods would become the first playing captain since the inaugural event in 1994 when Hale Irwin helmed the US to victory.

"Yes, I would like to captain the side and that precedent has already been set - 1994 when Hale Irwin was captain," said Woods. "If I make the team on points, yes, I'll play."

'Positive feedback'

Meanwhile, the former world No 1 defended his participation in last week's head-to-head $9 million winner-take-all contest against Phil Mickelson last week in Las Vegas, which was criticized as a cash grab by some observers.

"I think we've got some positive feedback overall," Woods said of the encounter, which was won by Mickelson.

"Obviously, there's some things we can do as far as interaction and as far as play. I wish we both would have played better, but neither one of us putted well that day and there were some tough hole locations out there.

"So, maybe going forward, just don't quite have the greens so fast or the pins so difficult, but also as short as the golf course was playing, we should have made at least seven, eight birdies a piece. We just did not."

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