Asia Pacific Classic 2012: Tiger Woods Looks for Tournament Win to Gain Momentum

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 25, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - OCTOBER 25:  Tiger Woods of USA tees off on the 11th hole during Round One of the 2012 CIMB Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club on October 25, 2012 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Tiger Woods and the word "contention" have gone hand-in-hand in 2012.  Now, he is on the prowl again, this time at the CIMB Asia-Pacific Classic in Kuala Lampur.

Woods currently trails American Troy Matteson by three shots on a crowded leaderboard after the first round.

A win on what appears to be a very easy course at The Mines resort would give Woods additional momentum heading into 2013.  His pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' majors record has hit a standstill, despite showing flashes of brilliance on tour this season.

If Woods wants to catch the Golden Bear, he will need to win at least one major next year.  At age 36 with his history of injuries, his window of brilliance is about to slam shut.

Even Tiger knows time is running out.  According to Oliver Brown of The Telegraph, Woods told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that he still wants to conquer Nicklaus' majors crown, but added it no longer is top priority.

One of the greatest competitors in sports, Woods' words show he has come to terms with reality.  But that doesn't mean he won't launch a brilliant 2013 season and reopen the quest for history.

Despite notching just three tournament wins last season, there is plenty of reason to believe the end isn't here just yet.

A snapshot of his 2012 season reminds us Woods still can compete in majors, having contended at the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

His three wins pulled him closer to Sam Snead's record of 82 tour wins, and vaulted him from 23rd in the World Rankings at the end of 2011 to No. 2 in the world behind rival Rory McIlroy.

It's simply a matter of stringing together consistency and doing something pre-scandal Tiger did amazingly well: finish.

Woods will finish his 2012 season with a pair of exhibition matches, including a match-play duel with McIlroy in China Monday.