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August 13th, 2007

Tiger Woods won his 13th major title of his career at Southern Hills Country Club and put his victory down to his improved fitness levels.

On a day when the temperature reached a tournament-high of 102 degrees, Woods strode down the middle of each sun-drenched fairway as playing partner Stephen Ames sought shade between shots. Ames finish tied for 12th after a 6-over-par 76.

Ernie Els and Woody Austin had a rare chance to catch Woods when they got to within one shot. Neither player was able to reel in the world’s best golfer as he held on to win his 13th major title and fourth PGA Championship with an 8-under-par 272 total.

Woods said his fitness level are better. He noted that “Other guys may have gotten tired and you see their shoulders slumping and dragging a little bit,” he said. “When I walked up 18, I felt the same way as I did going off the first tee. I felt great.”

By comparison, Ernie Els was finding the conditions difficult “I thought I was going to go down, I tell you,” said Els, who missed key birdie putts on the ninth and 11th holes and bogeyed the 16th hole to finish third.

Although former champions including Gary Player focused on fitness, most of today’s elite are still trying to catch up to Woods’s workout regimen. As more players fill up space in the PGA Tour’s traveling fitness trailer, Woods said their efforts make him work harder.

“When I first came out here on Tour, how many guys had personal trainers? I don’t think any of them did,” he said. “Now everyone has a trainer. It has become a lot harder to win tournaments. And that’s the fun of it. That’s the challenge.”


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