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Woods: US wins mean nothing at Lytham

ESPN staff
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Tiger Woods has won three times on the PGA Tour this year © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods has talked down his chances of winning the Open Championship later this month, saying that links golf is a "totally different game".

Woods triumphed at the AT&T National over the weekend, beating fellow American Bo Van Pelt by two strokes to claim his third PGA Tour title of the season, and his 74th overall, taking him past Jack Nicklaus in that tally.

He has subsequently been cut to the 5/1 favourite to take his fourth Open at Royal Lytham - however, he does not feel his recent run of success will be particularly relevant at the year's third major.

"It's going to be totally different shot making and prep," Woods said. "I'm going to play next week, and then I'm going to have to start practicing some different shots and getting used to hitting the ball a little bit lower, a little bit more flighted.

"It's a totally different game playing links golf. But I still have to have the ability to get the ball up in the air. That's something that we're going to work on. I've got a week, or basically two weeks, but one week of prep prior to the Open, and we'll get after it."

Woods recorded his first PGA Tour victory since September 2009 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and has not looked back since, taking the Memorial trophy as well as the AT&T. And the former world No. 1, who is once again the top-ranked American, is happy to have proved a point to his critics.

"I remember there was a time when people were saying I could never win again," Woods said. "A lot of media people didn't think I could win again, and I had to deal with those questions for quite a bit. It was just a matter of time. I could see the pieces coming together.

"Sean [Foley, his coach] and I were working, and we see what's coming, and we can see the consistency, and it's just a matter of time. If you look at my ball striking so far this year, it's gotten more and more consistent.

"I had basically a year away from it because I was hurt. I couldn't practice. And changing systems. Give me a little bit of time, and I feel like this is what I can do."

World Rankings: 1. Luke Donald (ENG), 2. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 3. Lee Westwood (ENG), 4. Tiger Woods (USA), 5. Webb Simpson (USA), 6. Bubba Watson (USA), 7. Matt Kuchar (USA), 8. Jason Dufner (USA), 9. Justin Rose (ENG), 10. Hunter Mahan (USA), 11. Graeme McDowell (NIR), 12. Adam Scott (AUS), 13. Steve Stricker (USA), 14. Martin Kaymer (GER), 15. Phil Mickelson (USA), 16. Dustin Johnson (USA), 17. Zach Johnson (USA), 18. Charl Schwartzel (SAF), 19. Rickie Fowler (USA), 20. Louis Oosthuizen (SAF).

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