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Meanwhile, Bay Hill is the first of two chances Woods has this year to break Sam Snead’s record on the PGA Tour for most wins at one tournament. Snead won the Greater Greensboro Open eight times.

Woods has seven wins at Bay Hill and seven wins at Firestone. He won for the eighth time at Torrey Pines in January, but one of those was the U.S. Open.


PUTTING TIPS: Curtis Strange compiled plenty of experience in his 20 years playing the Masters, which included a runner-up finish in 1985. He can think of no other golf course where experience means so much, especially on and around the greens.

“There are chips, pitches and putts we don’t get anywhere else, you can’t duplicate it at home,” Strange said. “Speaking for myself, I was never comfortable on the greens until the weekend.”

Strange said if he could start his career over, he would spend more time on the practice green, which has some strange contours.

“I remember spending one afternoon with putting contests, just doing goofy stuff, and it helped enormously,” he said. “You cannot duplicate those putts anywhere else.”


DIVOTS: Dan Jenkins has been named winner of the APSE’s Red Smith Award, given to a person who has made major contributions to sports journalism. Jenkins will be honored June 28 in Detroit, not far from where he first covered his first major at Oakland Hills in the 1951 U.S. Open. … Yani Tseng now has gone a full season without winning. … KPMG is giving its Lifetime Achievement Award to PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and European Tour chief executive George O’Grady. … The European Tour is bumping the prize money at its flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. The purse will be more than $6.1 million (4.75 million euros). The winner will get more than $1 million. … The Safeway Classic in Oregon will return to Columbia-Edgewater Country Club after four years at Pumpkin Ridge.


STAT OF THE WEEK: Stacy Lewis is the only American in the top 10 in the women’s world ranking.


FINAL WORD: “You just don’t ever forget the shots you’re faced with because you don’t get them anywhere else.” _ Stewart Cink on Augusta National.