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August 13, 2009

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Nicklaus and Hagen PGA victory records under threat

TIGER Woods will equal the records of Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen if he wins a fifth US PGA Championship in Minnesota on Sunday.

"This is the deepest field we get," said the American of the year's final major which features 98 of the world's top 100 players.

"If you win this championship you've beaten the best field in all of golf," Woods told reporters.

The world No. 1, bidding for a 15th major victory and his first of 2009, has won the last two events on the PGA Tour.

"I really hit it good last week and hopefully I can improve on that and carry that over into this week," said Woods as he warmed up for today's first round at Hazeltine National.

The 33-year-old won the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, seven days after taking the Buick Open.

Woods, who captured the PGA Championship trophy in 2007, 2006, 2000 and 1999, has five wins to his name since returning this year from an eight-month layoff following reconstructive knee surgery.

"It's been a great year either way, for me to come back and play as well as I've done. I don't think any of us would have thought I could have won this many events this year. A year back in August I was just coming off crutches, trying to learn how to walk. It wasn't a whole lot of fun."

Woods said it took him some time to get his game into shape after his operation. "I didn't really start feeling comfortable until this summer with my practice and being able to play," he said. "Earlier in the year was kind of hit or miss.

"As the year has progressed I've got much more comfortable with my game and being able to practice and play and get into the flow of competing," added Woods, who is chasing Nicklaus's record of 18 major victories.


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