2014 Masters likely to be pivotal for Tiger, says Miller

Thu Jan 2, 2014 7:34pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - This year's Masters could make the difference between Tiger Woods winning several more major titles or perhaps ending his career stuck on his current tally of 14, according to Hall of Fame golfer Johnny Miller.

Woods, comfortably the greatest player of his generation and possibly of all time, is ideally suited to Augusta National where he has piled up four Masters victories on heavily contoured and slick greens that demand a brilliant short game.

However, his barren title run in the majors is now fast approaching six years and the aura of dominance he once enjoyed in golf's blue riband events is a fading memory, with the young guns of today holding no fear for the world number one.

"What he does at Augusta is really important," twice major winner Miller, 66, said on a Golf Channel conference call ahead of this week's Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, the first PGA Tour event of the year.

"If he were to win at Augusta, I'd almost bet you he'd win another major this year. He'd win two majors. But if he doesn't win at Augusta, I think the odds of him winning another one are not that great.

"I wouldn't bet against him, but he's just a different player than he was when he was younger, even though he won five times (on the PGA Tour) last year."


Woods has not clinched a major title since his remarkable playoff victory in the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, often losing momentum over the weekend after playing his way into contention. His most recent Masters win came in 2005.   Continued...

Tiger Woods of the U.S. tees off on the 3rd hole during the final round of the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in the south west city of Antalya November 10, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas