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Awaiting Cub, Tiger Keeps Plans Flexible
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Tiger Woods, known for his meticulous tournament preparation, accepts his schedule will have to be flexible for the rest of this year because of the impending arrival of his first child.

The world number one's Swedish wife Elin is expected to give birth early next month and Woods is uncertain how much he will play before and after the due date.

"I'm pacing myself already just because of the fact that I have a baby coming up," the 31-year-old American said during a PGA Championship teleconference on Monday.

"I don't know how much I'm going to play after that (the birth) or how much I'm going to play before that. A lot depends on how Elin is feeling and the health of our child."

Woods has already said he is prepared to miss the July 19-22 British Open at Carnoustie if the arrival of his first child clashes with the third major of the season. 

Asked if he would be able to defend his PGA Championship title at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma from Aug. 9 to 12, he replied: "I hope so."

Regardless of what happens over the coming weeks, these are exciting times for the game's leading player whose life has changed dramatically since he mourned the loss of his father just over a year ago.

Woods celebrated a golden season in 2006 with 11 titles worldwide, including major victories at the British Open and the PGA Championship at Medinah.

"This time, this year, is totally different, from losing a father to becoming a father," he said. "My life is in two totally different places."

The 12-times major winner conceded he had struggled to get back into the rhythm of golf after his beloved father Earl died on May 3 2006 following a long battle with cancer.

"Every time I'd go practise I'd always think about my fundamentals and who taught me my fundamentals but my father," Woods said.

"It was hard to get away from it because a lot of the things I learned to do in the game came from my father.

"That was probably a more difficult task than actually getting back on the golf course because I have so many great memories of being with my dad on the golf course."

Asked to share his fondest PGA Championship memory, Woods replied: "Probably 2000.

"It doesn't really get much better than that but that's because I got to play with Jack (Nicklaus) in his last PGA.

"What happened on Friday afternoon on the last hole (after Nicklaus finished) and to win in a playoff for three majors in a row, I think that was a pretty good week."

Woods beat fellow American Bob May in a three-hole playoff for the 2000 PGA Championship at Valhalla, and went on to claim the 'Tiger Slam' by winning the Masters the following April to hold all four majors at the same time.

(China Daily via Agencies June 6, 2007)

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