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"You just have to understand that it's a long haul," Woods said. "It's a long grind. It's different than most major championships. You're not going to make a lot of birdies and the whole idea is to not make any big numbers because it's hard to get them back."
Woods, of course, set the standard for U.S. Open success 10 years ago -- here at Pebble Beach.
In a nearly flawless week of golf, he shot 12-under par and won by 15 strokes -- a couple of records that don't figure to be matched anytime soon.
Not even by him -- at least not this week, if the results during this, an abbreviated season so far, are any indicator.
Since his fourth-place finish at the Masters, Woods has missed a cut at Quail Hollow, pulled out of The Players Championship with a neck injury and finished 19th at the Memorial.
Asked about the state of his game Tuesday, he sounded like a man trying to convince himself everything was OK.
"The more I play, the more I get my feel back," Woods said. "Where I was in the beginning of June is where a lot of the guys are in January and February -- the amount of rounds they competed and played in. So I'm just starting to get my feel back. And I know I have to be patient. It's coming along."
As everyone knows, the U.S. Open is not the place to be rounding into shape. It's an unpredictable endurance test, and because of that, it's not the easiest place to pick a winner. For every Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Tom Watson, there's a Jack Fleck, Michael Campbell and, yes, a Lucas Glover.
Going from a one-time surprise to something even bigger is the defending champion's next goal.
"It's been a good year and it's hard to believe it's been a year," Glover said, "but that reality set in when I had to send the trophy back."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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