Jack Nicklaus has backed Tiger Woods to impress at the US Open and feels the 15-time major champion is the man to beat at Pebble Beach.
Woods arrives in California looking to claim a record-equalling fourth US Open success, at the event and venue where he recorded the largest-ever major victory with a 15-stroke win in 2000.Sponsored link
The former world No 1, who registered a first major since 2008 with a one-shot win at the Masters earlier this year, can equal Sam Snead’s all-time tally of 82 PGA Tour titles and move within two of Nicklaus’ major record with a victory this week.
When asked who his favourite to win the third major of the year would be, Nicklaus told Sky Sports: “I would think Tiger [Woods].
“Tiger won there by a million there the last time he won, he grew around that area and he is smart, so knows how to play there.
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“I think Tiger will play well but a lot of the guys are playing well too, so it’ll be a good tournament.”
Nicklaus won both the US Amateur Championship and US Open at Pebble Beach as well as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on three occasions, with the Golden Bear believing the course offers a different test to many other major courses.
“Length is not the big issue there, the issue is being smart,” Nicklaus added. “A double-bogey happens real quickly at Pebble Beach.
“You have to put yourself in a position to take advantage of a hole when you can. The greens are tough to make putts on, but the guys have played a lot there and understand a little bit about what goes on there.