AUGUSTA, Ga. – Tiger Woods really wants to win again, but he doesn’t need to win. He doesn’t need to win here at the Masters, or anywhere else for that matter. Woods’ 14 majors and 80 PGA Tour victories could be etched in history books forever and his place in the game would be solidified.
But, believe it or not, there were times in Woods’ career where he felt like he absolutely “needed” to win. The two that immediately came to mind were both here at Augusta National.
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“One, don’t blow the lead I had in ’97, because of what happened the previous year,” Woods said Tuesday at the Masters regarding his march to a first green jacket. His reference to the year before was to when Greg Norman began the final round with a six-shot lead and lost to Nick Faldo by five.
“I didn’t want to lose a nine-shot lead, so I was able to win that one,” Woods said with a smirk.
The other time Woods felt like he needed to win was here in 2001, when he entered the Masters already in possession of three consecutive majors. Of course, he defeated David Duval by two shots to win his second green jacket and capture the Tiger Slam by winning four straight majors.
“I mean, that’s nine months of just getting asked the same question,” Woods said, “and to pull it off like that one, yeah, I needed to win that one to get all four.”