Woods worried by tougher competition

Tiger Woods believes the influx of young talent into the game means it is harder to win events after yet another year without a major.

2013 was a largely successful campaign for the American, as he appeared to have rediscovered some of the aura that he held when he previously dominated the game, winning five events including the prestigious Players Championship.

However, despite near misses at both the Masters and the Open, for which he was among the favourites in the golf odds, he once again failed to claim one of the four biggest events on the calendar to make it five years since he won the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008.

Since that famous day on the California coast, when the world number one battled through a serious knee injury in order to defeat Rocco Mediate in an 18-hole play-off, he has been plagued by a host of well publicised personal problems.

Following his fall from grace in 2009, the game has undoubtedly become more competitive, with the last 24 majors producing 21 different winners.

His exploits over the last 12 months seem to indicate that Woods now appears to be fully focussed back on his golf though, but he admits that he remains unsure about his major chances over the coming years as the depth of talent in the game is so deep. The Paddy Power Tiger Woods specials currently have Woods down as 1 / 2 to go without winning a major in 2014.

“I think it’s deeper now than it ever has been,” he told reporters. “There is more young talent. There are more guys winning golf tournaments for the first time. But if you look at the major championships, how long did we go from basically Phil (Mickelson) winning [to] Phil winning? I mean, how many first time winners did we have during that stretch? It’s deeper. It’s more difficult to win events now, and it’s only going to get that way.”