Woods also says Tour must have control
DUBLIN, Ohio -- Tiger Woods knows better than most what Casey Martin feels as he struggles to walk a golf course. He watched as Martin dealt with his pain while the two were playing at Stanford.
So it's little surprise that Woods consistently supported Martin in his fight with the PGA Tour, even as some of his fellow pros took the other side.
That didn't change Wednesday after Woods completed a practice round at the Memorial, where he is the two-time defending champion.
"I'm extremely happy for Casey," Woods said. "To see Casey now go out there and play with peace and quiet and not having this over his head will be beneficial for him."
Woods, who was Martin's road roommate when he was a freshman at Stanford, said Tuesday's ruling by the Supreme Court should help Martin concentrate on getting his game better so he can regain a spot on the PGA Tour.
But he also said he understood -- and generally supported -- the tour's position that it should be able to make its own rules.
"This is a question about that," Woods said. "You would think we'd be able to govern our own sport. Sometimes it just doesn't work out that way."
Woods returns to the PGA Tour for the first time in three weeks to try to do something even he hasn't been able to accomplish in his remarkable career -- win the same pro tournament three years in a row.
That could change this week in a field weakened by the absence of such names as Phil Mickelson, Davis Love and David Duval, and on a course where Woods feels very comfortable.
"My goal is not to make a cut or show up and play half decent," Woods said. "My goal is to win."
Woods has already done that four times this year, the last coming at the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in Germany two weeks ago. He took off a few days after that win, then began beating golf balls once again.
Woods, of course, is trying to peak for the U.S. Open at Southern Hills in two weeks, where he will defend the title he won at Pebble Beach.
"I really feel like I'm swinging the club like I know I can," he said.
Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press
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