Tiger Woods believes it's harder than ever to win on the PGA Tour because of the increasing depth of talent of the players.
And most of them are at his tournament this week.
The World Challenge gets underway Thursday, held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks for the last time, and the field is so strong that the entire 18-golfer field is in the top 30 in the world ranking. That's what makes it difficult to win trophies.
And what's why Woods laughs at using the phrase "pretty good" to describe a year in which he won five times on the PGA Tour.
"I think it's deeper now than it ever has been," Woods said. "There is more young talent. There are more guys winning golf tournaments for the first time. If you look at the major championships, how long did we go from basically Phil winning and Phil winning?"
He was referring to the 13 majors played between Phil Mickelson winning the 2010 Masters and the British Open this year. Eleven of those champions had never won a major, the exceptions being Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy.
Of those 11 first-time major champions, only Darren Clarke has fallen lower than No. 40 in the world.
"It's more difficult to win events now," Woods said.
He pointed to advancements in equipment, particularly from wood drivers and wound golf balls. Woods dominated the PGA Tour with five wins against five tough fields, which also gave him another Vardon Trophy and money title.
After this year, Woods, the host, is moving the event from Sherwood CC, a Jack Nicklaus design set against the Santa Monica Mountains, to Isleworth near Orlando, Fla.
LPGA Q-school: Jaye Marie Green shot a 10-under 62 to take the first-round lead in the tour's qualifying tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla. The top 45 players after the final round Sunday will earn playing status.